Naturally such a topic as fundamental as our own mortality has lead to much discussion and debate, ranging from Terry Pratchett’s beautiful and moving Richard Dimbleby lecture to Cristina Odone’s and the Center for Policy Studies deeply disrespectful “report”. Whatever people’s position on the subject, there is currently an ongoing and dynamic dialogue in the UK. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case in Ireland.
With the country stunned into inaction ‘neath the dual icy caresses of arctic weather and plundering politicians, I thought it was only right to lighten the mood with a brief discussion of that most festive of topics, assisted suicide. This is an issue that has received a considerable amount of attention in the last couple of years in the UK, triggered in a large part by the actions of Debbie Purdy, a sufferer of multiple sclerosis who successfully argued that it was her human right to have clarification of the legal consequences to her husband if he was to be with her when she took her own life in a Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. The Crown Prosecution Service duly produced an interim report which vaguely suggested that as long as you were doing it for the right reasons, you were unlikely to face prosecution if you were with a loved one who has chosen to end their life.