Letters > Compassion optional

03 July 2014

Compassion optional

The prospect of the passing into law of the Assisted Dying Bill  indeed puts the most vulnerable at risk (“Personal autonomy is not the only issue”, leader, 28 June). But more than that, it risks undermining further our compassion and respect for life as a society as a whole. It’s not uncommon to hear praise for a terminally ill person’s courage and patience as their life draws to a close. If the ending of one’s life amid pain and suffering becomes optional, the response from friends, family and medical staff to someone choosing not to die might be, “Well, it’s his/her choice. They don’t have to suffer like this”. The unspoken thought then might be one of blame, “They’ve brought it on themselves”. Deciding t


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