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Monday, 1 February 2010

When death means life

“If I knew that I could die, I would live,” the writer Sir Terry Pratchett will tell the annual Dimbleby Lecture tomorrow. “My life, my death, my choice.”

His views are part of a (London) Times article today, in which the bestselling author – who’s suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease – says the time has come for assisted suicide to be legal.

And that’s the only moral and ethical way to look at it. But opposition – often but not always in the guise of members of the Deluded Herd – will bring out all kinds of “reasons” why this should not be allowed, one being that it is open to abuse.

So is just about anything you can mention. And, yes, it will be abused by those who want to bump off Aunt Peggy for her millions. But that just meant we’ll need to build safeguards to minimise such abuses, as we do, or should do, with other things that can be abused.

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