Zealots Know Best?

Originally the question posed by Margo’s Bill was quite clear: is it morally justifiable to help someone who is terminally ill to a death of their choosing? However, the debate was soon deluged with concerns about unintended consequences such as the effect on our trust in doctors or the need to protect people from being coerced. Some argued that anyone who judges that they are better off dead must be mistaken but that infers we are better judges of other people’s lives than they are themselves. Others claim that it is a failure of our society to provide terminal care but this still avoids facing the possibility that assisted death may sometimes be the rational choice. I find much of this opposition deeply patronising to those who have calmly decided they want a merciful release and smacking of arrogance rather than compassion.

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