Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Right To Die (2)


Since the case of Kay Gilderdale last week who was acquitted after assisting her 31 year old daughter take her own life, the freedom to die has become even more feisty. But from a sane perspective, the restriction from taking one's own life should not be treated so. I have always argued that, so long as its one's own life, it should be free for them to terminate; but not another's.

And that 'another's' leads us to the case at hand. When two weeks ago, Ms. Frances Inglis was convicted of taking the life of his 22 year old disabled son, some argued that she did a good thing. But that doesn't sound quite right.

But Sir Terry Pratchet's proposal today seems a better approach. However, it should only apply where the person concerned is still able to make rational decisions; is in good mental health and can communicate clearly. A panel should include the victim's (family) lawyer, a state lawyer or judge, a medical professional (a family doctor may apply) and other relevant persons as may be necessary; i.e. carers, relatives, etc.

Someone may insist that this approach is a waste of time and money, but considering that juries may be formed when this person is 'assisted'. Why not do it while he/she is still alive and can contribute. It will also make it easy by reducing time and cost taken to take the person in a mortuary. The panel can investigate and evaluate the person's situation including his estates and approve the right to die when the time comes. Also, this approval should be given a time-frame and open to re-evaluation for extension.

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