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Assisted suicide for ill people is ‘slippery slope’

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first_imgNewsLocal NewsAssisted suicide for ill people is ‘slippery slope’By admin – January 22, 2012 546 A REVIEW of laws which would allow doctors to assist seriously ill patients to die could lead to people who cannot make the decision for themselves being euthanised, a Limerick TD has warned. At a recent conference in Cork, Dr Adam McCauley, senior lecturer in medical and international human rights law in UCD, said that Irish law relating assisted suicide should be reviewed. Dr McCauley claimed that people with serious medical conditions are taking their lives “behind closed doors,” and sometimes with the assistance of medical practitioners.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up He was speaking in the wake of the publication of British report which describes current law on assisted suicide as “inadequate and incoherent”.But Fine Gael Deputy, Dan Neville, said that any liberalisation of the law on assisted death or euthanasia could have serious consequences.“It has been the experience elsewhere when euthanasia is legalised under very specific circumstances that although the criteria may be set tightly at the start, those criteria tend to loosen over time and a more liberal approach to euthanasia is taken”.Deputy Neville, who is president of the Irish Association of Suicidology, fears that older people who are ill and those severely handicapped, who do not have their full faculties, may be open to suggestion and pressure.“If someone is very ill or suffering from a disease such as Alzheimer’s, you have to ask whether they have the mental capacity to make a decision to end their own lives”.The British Commission on Assisted Dying recommended in it’s report, published last week, that a person who has a severe condition and less than a year to live, should be allowed to ask medical practitioners to assist them to die.But Deputy Neville said that this would constitute “a slippery slope.It started out tightly controlled in places like the Netherlands but that has all changed. There is a documented case recently of a woman in her fifties, who tragically lost both of her sons and she was considered a fit case for assisted suicide, even though she was in good physical health. And suicide rates generally increase in countries where euthanasia has been legalised. The attitude to all suicides changes”. Advertisement Email WhatsApp Linkedincenter_img Print Previous articleUnfinished estates may escape chargeNext articleBookmaker tells family ‘too late at starting gate’ for Euro draw admin Facebook Twitterlast_img read more