Prohibited from leaving the waiting room...


..,especially if you need some assistance in making it through those heavy double doors underneath the exit sign. Lord McColl writing in The Daily Telegraph sets out arguments against Lord Falconer's proposal for people's non-prosecution of those who assist others seeking to be euthanised. Dying in Dignity have found that two-thirds of people actually think that Falconer's proposal is acceptable and wish to see the change in the law.

Lord McColl's arguments are admirable, but they fail to take into account one very important factor: that people have the rights over their own lives. While there may be a majority of doctors who do not wish to be involved in making a decision with regard to someone's life, there will be others willing to help. After all patients wishes should be respected. For years Jehovah Witnesses have refused blood transfusions, much to the detriment of their own health; those wishes remain respected though. How is it that those with a god have power on their side yet the rest of us meek mortals are subservient to the politician's and medical profession's whims.

At a previous point a person has made a rational choice that they are, or will no longer be, happy with the level of life they will find themselves in. Therefore they wish to end it all. It's time that we grew up in this country and respected individual choices over our lives. We have advanced little in the intervening years since the Suicide Act was passed in 1961 when the state finally relinquished its totalitarian grasp on people's lives. Those who assist in purveying a person to carry out their wishes should not be punished unless there is a highly suspicious reason to. Obviously it would be far easier if euthanasia was available here and we had a system organized that protected the vulnerable from abuse. It will be a while longer before the state cedes total control to us to hold open the doors, as the House of Lords voted against the amendment on Tuesday.