This Friday parliament will take a free vote, to decide upon whether a bill will be passed allowing doctors to prescribe patients a lethal dose to end their life. Thus far opinions have been mixed, with many swapping and changing their stance when evaluating all the types of circumstances that could arise.
Leading oncologist Karol Sikora, is one of the people who has taken a vocal position of opposition. He stated that allowing a patient to die goes against the conduct of healthcare, and that doctors making death decisions will instead become a death squad.
Prime Minster David Cameron also had his reservations, and said he was “not conviced” because he was concerned people may be pushed into descisions they don’t want for themselves, but feel they should. For example, if they thought they were being a burden upon their family.
A recent poll also demonstrated that 47 percent of Britons thought vulnerable people may opt out of life for other reasons than because they do not want to live. However only 10 percent were actually in agreement with him that people should not have the choice to end their life, with 70 percent agreeing the new legislation should be implemented.
Lib Dem politician and Care Minister Norman Lamb, who at first opposed the notion, has now also changed his mind after speaking to families who had endured the experience of a loved one dying, and stated people should have the choice. His position was similar to that of Desmond Tutu, a universally renowned South African civil rights activist who believes people should own the right to die with dignity.
Lord Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was another official who has come around to the idea after first opposing it. He said this was based upon Tony Nicklinson, a man who suffered from locked-in syndrome and was paralysed from the waist downwards. He described his life as a “living nightmare”, and fought hard for the right to legally end his life.
However, some still maintain that allowing doctors to end a patient’s life would consist of medical negligence, because it is meant to be their duty to do the best they can to help sustain health and treat people. With the decision being made on Friday, only time will tell whether the majority believe euthanasia is a right or a crime.