‘We need an Assisted Living Bill, not an Assisted Dying Bill’

by Liz Carr, ITV News, 14 August 2015

Liz Carr is an actress, comedian and campaigner for Not Dead Yet UK.

In 2015 she wrote about her opposition to the Assisted Dying Bill then being considered by the UK parliament. (It was subsequently overwhelmingly rejected by 330 votes to 118.)

I’m not religious, I’m not anti-choice and yet I, along with many other disabled people who are involved in the international organisation Not Dead Yet, oppose the legalisation of assisted suicide.

We believe that if the Assisted Dying Bill passes, that some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse.

No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome – which can never be undone. The only guaranteed safeguard is to not legalise assisted suicide.

And we’re not alone in thinking this.

Not one organisation of disabled people supports assisted suicide and the majority of doctors, i.e. those who would be licensed under this bill to provide the lethal drugs, do not want this bill passed either.

The British Medical Association, the Royal Colleges of Physicians, General Practitioners and Surgeons, the Association for Palliative Medicine and the British Geriatric Society, all oppose changing the law.

As someone who has spent a lot of her life needing extensive health care, I am relieved to hear this. I wouldn’t be alive without the NHS but I recognise that it is currently understaffed and under resourced. Against a backdrop of longer shifts, difficulty in obtaining appointments and the rationing of certain treatments, should we really be pushing further pressures onto our reluctant doctors?

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