I'm also uneasy about the effect the Bill will have on the relationship between doctors and patients. Frankly, I want my doctors to be the sort of people who recoil from ending someone's life. Unless they are, it's a degree or two more difficult to trust my loved ones or myself into their care. If I or my loved ones were disabled or had limited mental capacity, I would be even more wary.
excellent piece by Jan Henderson, read the rest here.
I'm in agreement with Jan, and she states many of the reasons better than I could. The Belgian journey has already taken them to legalising this for children, and the UK experience with abortion - legalised for exceptional circumstances, but now used routinely as a method of birth control - shows that reality can end up a long way from where those drafting the laws intended it.
So I'm with Justin Welby, rather than George Carey on this one. Freedom of choice tends to serve the strong, rather than the weak and vulnerable, because the weak have fewer choices, and less power to use them. The law is there to protect the vulnerable. It's interesting how the terminology has changed to emphasise choice: dying (something done by the patient) rather than euthanasia (something done by the doctor).
Having talked people through a desire for suicide who ended up living happily, I have an intrinsic caution over the nature of a 'choice' to die. It's not made in a set of clean, clear-minded circumstances, and changing the culture around death with complicate things even further.
Update: good response to George Carey here from Ian Paul.
And the BMA is still opposed to assisted dying, despite an editorial in its house journal in favour.
I was struck by a comment I saw on Nick Baines blog 'we already have assisted dying, it's called a hospice'