Dr Irwin deserves great admiration

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Suicide Act which decriminalised attempted suicide.

Looking back, it seems incredible that people driven to the verge of self-destruction were prosecuted.

Opponents of the Suicide Act 1961 were forerunners of those who now make sneering attacks on Dr Michael Irwin, nicknamed Dr Death ‘by a string of tabloid newspapers’ (Herald, September 9).

Dr Irwin’s right-to-die campaigning had earned him the admiration of thousands and the gratitude of the few he enabled to end their lives as they wished at a time of their choosing.

Fifty years hence, people will regard it as incredible that patients travelled to Switzerland for this purpose because doctor-assisted suicide was illegal in Britain.

W. J. McIlroy

Somerhill Road, Hove