Saturday, June 10, 2006

Euthanasia will become as routine as abortion
Having watched the trend for years, I predict it may well be an option for me. I'm 54.

Richard Smith
June 9, 2006 12:08 PM

In 1978 I published one of my first articles in a medical journal - on abortion. It prompted howls of protest, and so did every article on abortion for the next 10 years. But slowly the protesters, some of them very well organised, ran out of steam. We moved - do I dare say progressed? - over a 50-year time scale from refusing termination of pregnancy in a woman whose life was threatened by pregnancy to, effectively, abortion on demand.

I feel I'm watching a similar progression with euthanasia. Len Doyal, "one of Britain's top medical ethicists",
arguing that active euthanasia can be acceptable is another step along the path. Len may be in the vanguard, but much of the population is close behind. Other countries and states - the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Oregon, the Northern Territories - are ahead, but surely a post-religious country like Britain will quickly follow. Lord Joffe's bill on physician-assisted suicide may have been put on ice, but it'll soon be warmed up. the rest


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