Priority must be a natural end to life

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DOROTHY Forsyth (Herald letters, September 16) is demanding a change in the law to legalise assisted suicide.

Here in Eastbourne – the suicide capital of the south – tragically, we already know how easy it is for people to end their lives.

I agree it is very sad that anyone should feel their quality of life is so poor that they want to kill themselves. But rather than give in to hopelessness, let Eastbourne continue to be at the forefront of palliative care provision.

Ms Forsyth says changes in the law would be introduced with ‘suitable safeguards’. Don’t be duped.

If the law is changed to legalise assisted suicide, doctors will be compromised in their professional integrity and vulnerable people will feel pressure to end their lives for fear of being an emotional or financial burden on others.

Dignity in Dying, to which Ms Forsyth refers, is a well-funded pressure group with considerable media backing aiming to force a change in the law through a well-orchestrated campaign.

The current laws, already in place, protect vulnerable people, acting as a strong deterrent to abuse, while giving judges discretion in difficult cases.

Real dignity in dying is dying naturally with the best care available – that’s what our priority should be.

Catherine Butcher

Milton Crescent