Why Giving Death a Helping Hand is Never a Good Idea

Posted on January 9, 2012


After the publishing of Lord Falconer’s Report on assisted suicide we here at Blog for All Seasons have collected together some of our older posts on the subject of life and death.

While assisted suicide and euthanasia are often presented as distinct concepts we must always consider whether or not a human life qua life is a valuable thing. Any proposed legalisation of assisted suicide presupposes that certain people’s desire to die is more important than their lives. Such would represent a sea change in how we approach the morality of life and death.

Crucially, the notion of a person’s ‘quality of life’ remains largely subjective. That raises the question of whether or not a rational account of morality is being marginalised in our public discourse, even in a matter so important as that of human life.

Any move towards identifying a ‘right to die’ is likely to change how we recognise what is morally good, and what our government considers legal in such a serious matter will inevitably have a deep impact on us all.

Regrettably, attempts to preserve the Report’s neutrality appear rather half-hearted. That the chair of this commission, Lord Falconer, should be so active in efforts to legalise assisted suicide, and that the commission should have accepted money from so public a supporter of assisted suicide as Sir Terry Pratchett, constitute, we believe, cause for serious concern.