Helter skelter down the slippery slope

Here in Blighty we are whooshing down the slippery slope to involuntary euthanasia at quite a pace. We got the crucial legal judgement a few years ago that we can sometimes judge that it is in someone's "best interests" to die. The Mental Capacity Act got food and fluids defined as treatment that can be legitimately witheld on request of the patient or of their representative if they are incapacitated.

Moves towards legalising assisted suicide are now coming thick and fast. The Director of Public Prosecutions has broken new ground in a case where he decided not to prosecute because it would not be in the public interest to do so. An assisted suicide was shown on the telly last night providing powerful propaganda in favour of it. Gordon Brown made a cleverly non-committal speech in which he said that he was "personally not in favour... difficult ishoos... difficult choices...

He has not committed himself personally - who wants to be the Prime Minister to back assisted suicide. But he has left himself plenty of room to step firmly out of the way when the inevitable next attempt is made to introduce a bill.

When that is all legal, look forward to harrowing tales of people who are incapacitated having to be starved and dehydrated to death because they could not ask for assisted suicide, and how unfair the law is.

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