Euthanasia will forever be a controversial topic. It’s one of the biggest philosophical and moralistic questions out there. Should a human being have the right to end their own life?
Euthanasia differs from suicide. While suicide is taking one’s own life, euthanasia, according to the NHS, is the act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve suffering.
While euthanasia and assisted dying are completely illegal in the UK, politicians in Guernsey are preparing to pass a law to allow a so-called ‘suicide clinic’ to be established on the island, reports the Mirror.
The clinic will allow a safe and comfortable place for people with certain terminal illnesses and crippling diseases to go to and die peacefully – instead of having to fly to Switzerland for a similar procedure.
Guernsey’s chief minister, Gavin St Pier said:
This is about giving people choice and a sense they have some control themselves, rather than being frightened, out of control and in the hands of others. That for me is why this is such an important issue.
I have personal experience of my father who died nine years ago. His death from cardiovascular disease was very distressing. It was not the death he would have chosen had he the choice.
Guernsey is able to evade the United Kingdom’s strict laws against assisted suicide as it’s not part of the UK so are able to establish their own laws as part of a British Crown Dependancy.
A short film created last year to show the horrors of a world with no euthanasia was deemed the most horrific video of 2017.
You can watch the harrowing clip below:
Under current UK laws, anybody who aides a person in assisted dying can face 14 years in jail – forcing those who seek to end their own lives, to head out to Switzerland’s Dignitas, which costs on average around £10,000.
The change in Guernsey is due, somewhat, to the case of a man known only as Omid T, who’s been bed-bound for over two years due to suffering from advanced stages of multiple system atrophy (MSA).
Omid says he now finds life completely ‘intolerable’ and wishes to end his own life but does not have the funds to go to Dignitas.
His barrister, Paul Bowen QC, added:
Due to the unbearable suffering caused by his deteriorating physical condition, which cannot be cured or alleviated, life has become intolerable to him.
He wishes to end his life and has been assessed as having the capacity to do so.
Omid himself, later wrote on his CrowdJustice page, (where he’s attempting to raise funds for legal action):
My health is very poor now and I just hope all this can be over soon so I can end my life. I want to get a date set soon to have a peaceful ending in Switzerland.
I never thought it would be this difficult, it’s torture for me and I don’t understand what is the use of all this suffering?
Omid also believes the UK’s blanket ban on assisted suicide is a breach on human rights which is ‘cruel and unjust’.
What’s your opinion on assisted dying? Should it be legalised in the UK to allow people of a certain criteria to die in peace?
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.