This is one of the hot topics in many countries, with our ageing populations, but in the UK it is still a crime to help someone end their life, which causes a lot of distress to friends and family of the terminally ill. If an animal is fatally injured we “put it out of its misery” but such mercy is too often denied to humans.
The retired Archbishop of Cape Town and former anti-apartheid campaigner has been treated for cancer but onFriday presided over a cathedral mass on his 85th birthday. This is from yesterday’s i paper:
He has said he believes in the “sanctity of life” but also reiterated his support for “assisted dying” for terminally ill people who seek that option. “I have prepared for my death and have made it clear that I do not wish to be kept alive at all costs. I hope I am treated with compassion and allowed to pass on to the next phase of life’s journey in the manner of my choice.
And that’s really at the heart of the issue. Most of us will never know when we will be struck down so have no time to prepare, to say goodbyes, to clear our consciences. We have the right to choose so many things, but it is utterly callous to deny anyone their biggest step in life, the choice,on how to end it.