The Commission on Assisted Dying (Commission) that was chaired by Lord Falconer, a long-time promoter of assisted suicide, released their 400 pages of “ink on paper” calling for the legalization of assisted suicide in the UK. The Commission was sponsored by the Dying in Dignity assisted suicide lobby group and jointly financed by author and pro-assisted suicide activist Terry Pratchett.
Dr Peter Saunders, the campaign director of the Care Not Killing Alliance stated:
“This investigation was unnecessary, biased and lacking in transparency and its report is seriously flawed. It is being spun as a comprehensive, objective and independent review into this complicated issue. It is anything but.”
The report was similar to the recent one-sided Royal Society of Canada report that called for the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. The Royal Society of Canada End of Life Decision Making committee, from its inception, was a stacked committee that sought promote a framework for the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
It is interesting that much of the media referred to these reports as “independent expert reports” even though both reports are a desperate attempt by the suicide lobby to gain credibility for the idea of giving physicians the right to be involved with the direct death of their patients. At least Jocelyn Downie was able to hood-wink the Royal Society into paying for her euthanasia report.
I responded when the Royal Society of Canada committee was announced that they could save a lot of money by simply asking me to write the report, in fact, I accurately predicted the recommendations of the Royal Society report before it was released.
The Commission was known to be biased resulting in major groups throughout the UK refusing to present to the Commission, including the British Medical Association.
The Commission report suggested that assisted suicide be legalized in the UK in an “Oregon Model” whereby the person who dies by assisted suicide must be at least 18 years old, , must have a terminal condition that would lead to death within 12 months, must have the request approved by two physicians, and the person must be determined to be of sound mind, and to not be pressured by others.
The fact is that the Commission report would give doctors the right to assist the suicides of their patients in a looser system of “safeguards” that exists in the State of Oregon, and yet Oregon is far from tightly administered.
In Oregon, 57 of 59 assisted suicide deaths in 2010 were facilitated by Campassion & Choices, the assisted suicide lobby group that is equivalent to the Dying in Dignity group in the UK. A 2008 report by researcher Linda Ganzini showed that 26% of people who had requested assisted suicide were depressed and yet none of the people who were part of her study were offered a phychiatric assessment, that is required by law.
In other words, patients who are depressed and asking for assisted suicide in Oregon are not being protected by the, so called, safeguards, and yet the Commissions report suggests that this would not happen in the UK with their proposed looser set of safeguards.
The case of Barbara Wagner in 2008 uncovered what occurs in a place where assisted suicide has become accepted. Wagner, who was dependent on the Oregon health care plan, was turned down for cancer treatment but offered assisted suicide. Assisted Suicide in Oregon is supposedly based on the “free choice” of the participants but Wagner was being steered to suicide by the state.
Julia Manning stated in the Daily Mail that her father-in-law was given six months to live and he lived six more years of quality life. She pointed out that the 12 months to live “safeguard” “is giving false certainty of the predictability of death.”
Terry Pratchett told Sky News that he believes that the report that he jointly funded into assisted dying does not go far enough. I guess that was Pratchett’s way of indicating that he did not influence the writers of the report, but why would he need to influence a Commission that was stacked with leaders from the suicide lobby.
George Pitcher pointed out in the Daily Mail that some of the Commission members pointed out that their report represented “baby steps”. Pitcher reports that Joyce Robbins stated:
‘I think we can only go for terminal illness at the moment, so this doesn’t actually apply to people who are probably about to go into care homes. But, you know, baby steps.’
My only fear is that some people will actually take this report seriously. Some people may actually respect the amount of time it took to put that much “ink on paper.”