People should have the right to choose voluntary euthanasia

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THE UK government is agonising over the increasing longevity of the population thanks to improved medicine, increased access to it and constant propaganda on healthy living.

The churches, the law, the medical establishment back their policy of letting people live on to die naturally no matter how their bodies break down through illness, accidents and age.

Many parents go to great lengths to provide disabled offspring with as much as possible of the routines and pleasures of normal active living.

However, those who have active purposeful lives, may live to experience the ultimate breakdown of bodily functions through use and age.

In their middle years they should have to make a “living will” about their death with the proviso that they can change their minds.

In any case the widely held belief that in old age people lose their mental faculties, is by no means true.

In middle age or old age mentally fit people are perfectly capable of planning their own demise.

They may not wish to drag on with their health and capabilities inevitably deteriorating.

It is irrational of the Government to moan on about the burden of the increasingly helpless old on the fit and healthy and, at the same time, refuse to accept voluntary euthanasia for those who are crippled with arthritis and osteoporosis, with blindness and deafness etc.

Belgium and Holland, as well as Switzerland, have found legal safeguards to ensure that those who do not find life worth living are free from pressure by relatives and friends.

Officialdom should remember that we do not impose drawn-out martyrdom for our beloved pets when their bodies break down. Why do we deny fellow human beings a quick and dignified end supervised by doctors?

There are, throughout Britain, towns where people like to retire, where particularly a “Care Industry” has sprung up, one of the few now offering employment.

People pay for their care and when their savings run out, the state, through the NHS Social Care, takes them on as dependants for nursing only: the quality of their lives through upkeep is not considered.

People should have the right to choose. Pneumonia, before the introduction of penicillin, used to be known as “the old folks’ friend” because it carried them off more quickly than slow decay. Anyone wishing to contact me can do so via Annemarie Field at the Eastbourne Herald on 414482.

S THOMPSON

Bradford Street