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Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

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Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Guest on Sun 6 Sep - 14:23

Please consider signing my petition to RETAIN the existing law on asissted suicide, which I launched on 27 July 2009 on the Prime Minister's website:

Petition link: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/notolegalsuicide/

At the time of writing it has 7,774 signatories and after less than 6 weeks has already reached 19th position out of 5,000 petitions on the PM's site.

It will only take you two minutes to add your name.

Ex-pats can sign the petition, so long as they give an address, which will not be published.

Here are a few quotes from prominent people in recent days that summarise the case for keeping the current law, which makes it a criminal offence to assist another person to kill themselves.

Dignitas, the Swiss clinic where these assisted suicides take place, charges just over £6,000 per killing:

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Barbara Wilding, 59, Chief Constable of South Wales Police, told the Daily Telegraph that: “Changing the law could lead to abuse as the elderly population continues to grow. The police would have to be very careful to make sure the law does not become a way of getting rid of a burden”. She says she would watch any change in the legislation ‘very carefully’.

She continued: “Elderly abuse is something that we have yet to really grasp. It is one of the things that I think will be the next social explosion. Abuse can range from the violent through to the psychological - not providing the medical care at the right time, not looking after people’s needs and not recognising that they are valuable members of society’. I worry about some of the infrastructures to cope with older people who need caring for and who monitors them if they are cared for at home”.

Baroness Ilora Finlay of Llandaff, Professor in Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University, said: “You have to remember that when people are ill it is very, very easy to influence the way that they feel about themselves. If someone is made to feel that they being a nuisance to the NHS, a nuisance to the state and their families are huffing and puffing, perhaps about care costs…then that person could feel that not only are they a burden but they have a duty to die”.

In the House of Lords earlier this year, opposing a change in the current law, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, made an impassioned speech in which she said: “Legalising premature death as a treatment option plants a seed of doubt about one’s right to demand help to live with dignity and undermines the state’s responsibility to ensure that all citizens can live with dignity. Any change in the law would place a new and invidious pressure on disabled and terminally ill people who think that they are close to the end of their lives. Some will consider death as preferable to fighting for support to live with dignity”.

There was controversy when the parents of tetraplegic Daniel James helped him to die at Dignitas last year. Other family members condemned the decision. Keir Starmer Q.C., Director of Public Prosecutions, who is to review the legislation, denied that by failing to prosecute the parents he had ‘given the green light’ to assisted suicide. He said: “My decision not to prosecute those who assisted Daniel James to commit suicide was taken on the very specific and unique facts of that case. There was evidence that could have led to a conviction of Daniel’s parents for aiding and abetting his suicide, but I decided that a prosecution would not be in the public interest. This decision neither rules in nor rules out the prosecution of relatives who assist the terminally ill to commit suicide.”

Petition link: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/notolegalsuicide/

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Guest on Sun 6 Sep - 20:54

Not too sure how I feel about this actually. It is a bit cloudy...

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Sprite on Mon 7 Sep - 8:23

eddie wrote:Not too sure how I feel about this actually. It is a bit cloudy...

Whilst I appreciate Tony's concerns, speaking as someone with terminal cancer myself this is an issue that certainly needs addressing. Its a murky area of the law and needs defining much more clearly.

So sorry Tony - I wont be signing your petition, in fact I'll be starting one of my own to get the whole subject debated properly and hopefully dealt with in a way which shows compassion for those of us which it most directly affects - and protects those who could possibly suffer under any new legislation.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Angelina on Mon 7 Sep - 8:45

Sprite wrote:
eddie wrote:Not too sure how I feel about this actually. It is a bit cloudy...

Whilst I appreciate Tony's concerns, speaking as someone with terminal cancer myself this is an issue that certainly needs addressing. Its a murky area of the law and needs defining much more clearly.

So sorry Tony - I wont be signing your petition, in fact I'll be starting one of my own to get the whole subject debated properly and hopefully dealt with in a way which shows compassion for those of us which it most directly affects - and protects those who could possibly suffer under any new legislation.

Hallo Sprite, I'm so sorry to hear how ill you are. I agree with you that the whole thing needs a lot of debate and I'm pleased to hear that you intend to start your own campaign to get discussion started.

Please post a link to your petition when you are ready.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Guest on Mon 7 Sep - 10:11

I don't think it should be against the law to help someone die. So no, I will not be sigining that petition at all.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Claudia79 on Mon 7 Sep - 14:14

I am all for individual freedom. People should have the right to decided when they have had enough. A dignified death is as important as a dignified life, IMO.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Angelina on Mon 7 Sep - 15:39

What annoys me is that hospitals are making the choice for very ill people anyway...by withdrawing fluids and giving large amounts of sedatives...and very often the patient has no choice.

So what is wrong with those who are able to make a choice, having the chance to say what they want.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Claudia79 on Mon 7 Sep - 15:42

Celine wrote:
Claudia79 wrote:I am all for individual freedom. People should have the right to decided when they have had enough. A dignified death is as important as a dignified life, IMO.

For once I agree with you Claudia. It is wrong to force people to carry on living a life of hell. We would not do it to an animal...so we sure as hell should not do it to a human being.

Mr. Bennett. Out of curiosity, just how many petitions have you started to date? You must hold the world record by now.

See, Celine, that is the difference. I disagree with Mr Bennett on this topic but I recognise his right to have a different opinion from me and to start as many petitions as he wishes so. It's called individual freedom. It's thanks to people who have a mind of their own that the world has evolved. Even if I don't agree with them.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Susan on Mon 7 Sep - 16:26

My father has progressive motor neuron disease and he recently signed a living will....

Its been an awful time for all of us in the family even thinking about this step but he wants to die with dignity when the times comes and not be revived so my apologies but I cannot sign this petition!

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\'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.\' Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Sprite on Mon 7 Sep - 17:53

Ambersuz wrote:My father has progressive motor neuron disease and he recently signed a living will....

Its been an awful time for all of us in the family even thinking about this step but he wants to die with dignity when the times comes and not be revived so my apologies but I cannot sign this petition!

Ive made a living will - or advance directive as its known.
It mainly deals with when I would like treatment withdrawn, and when I would like not to be resussitated in the event of a cardiac arrest.

At the moment I feel as if Im still in control, Im not in too much pain yet, but it does worry me that the time may come when that changes.

Amber - Im so sorry to hear of your father - MND is a dreadful illness both for the sufferer and the family.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Sprite on Mon 7 Sep - 17:56

Molly wrote:
Angelina wrote:
Sprite wrote:
eddie wrote:Not too sure how I feel about this actually. It is a bit cloudy...

Whilst I appreciate Tony's concerns, speaking as someone with terminal cancer myself this is an issue that certainly needs addressing. Its a murky area of the law and needs defining much more clearly.

So sorry Tony - I wont be signing your petition, in fact I'll be starting one of my own to get the whole subject debated properly and hopefully dealt with in a way which shows compassion for those of us which it most directly affects - and protects those who could possibly suffer under any new legislation.

Hallo Sprite, I'm so sorry to hear how ill you are. I agree with you that the whole thing needs a lot of debate and I'm pleased to hear that you intend to start your own campaign to get discussion started.

Please post a link to your petition when you are ready.



Sorry to hear of your illness Sprite. I also agree that more considered debate is necessary. Look forward to your link when possible.

Molly thank you.

Im doing a bit of research just now to see if there already any similar petitions - I know Diane Purdy had one recently.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Susan on Mon 7 Sep - 21:26

Sprite wrote:
Ambersuz wrote:My father has progressive motor neuron disease and he recently signed a living will....

Its been an awful time for all of us in the family even thinking about this step but he wants to die with dignity when the times comes and not be revived so my apologies but I cannot sign this petition!

Ive made a living will - or advance directive as its known.
It mainly deals with when I would like treatment withdrawn, and when I would like not to be resussitated in the event of a cardiac arrest.

At the moment I feel as if Im still in control, Im not in too much pain yet, but it does worry me that the time may come when that changes.

Amber - Im so sorry to hear of your father - MND is a dreadful illness both for the sufferer and the family.

Oh hun I'm so sorry to hear this! :Hug1:

Its the same with my father....eventually he'll end up with tubes to eat and breath and he doesnt want that....he's already in a wheelchair and needs to be fed but he's still so so happy.....BUT in denial which is keeping him alive!


Be strong girl.... :Theman:

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\'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.\' Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Guest on Tue 8 Sep - 0:07

Ambersuz wrote:
Sprite wrote:
Ambersuz wrote:My father has progressive motor neuron disease and he recently signed a living will....

Its been an awful time for all of us in the family even thinking about this step but he wants to die with dignity when the times comes and not be revived so my apologies but I cannot sign this petition!

Ive made a living will - or advance directive as its known.
It mainly deals with when I would like treatment withdrawn, and when I would like not to be resussitated in the event of a cardiac arrest.

At the moment I feel as if Im still in control, Im not in too much pain yet, but it does worry me that the time may come when that changes.

Amber - Im so sorry to hear of your father - MND is a dreadful illness both for the sufferer and the family.

Oh hun I'm so sorry to hear this! :Hug1:

Its the same with my father....eventually he'll end up with tubes to eat and breath and he doesnt want that....he's already in a wheelchair and needs to be fed but he's still so so happy.....BUT in denial which is keeping him alive!


Be strong girl.... :Theman:

Althought I admire TB for his work on the Madeleine case, I wont be signing this either. Sprite, I'm so sorry to hear of your illness, i have been there too but I'm one of the lucky ones, 3 years into remission. And Amber for your Dad too :Hug1:

People should be allowed to die with dignity IMO.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  Guest on Tue 8 Sep - 14:08

Celine wrote:For once I agree with you Claudia. It is wrong to force people to carry on living a life of hell. We would not do it to an animal...so we sure as hell should not do it to a human being. Mr. Bennett. Out of curiosity, just how many petitions have you started to date? You must hold the world record by now.
If you go to the Prime Minister's website, there appear to be four current petitions broadly around this subject. One of them (No. 4 below) is more of less in opposition to mine. So far, it has got 75 signatures.

I sympathise totally with those who do not want themselves or their relatives to die an agonising death, but I believe that on balance the answers lie more with palliative care than by making it easier for people to help another to commit suicide, which I see as the beginning of a slippery and dangerous slope.

I speak as one who tried and tried to feed my 94-year-old and blind father in an old people's home when very sadly he had made up his mind that he didn't want to eat any more as he had had enough of life.

Here are the four petitions, with links:

Petition to: allow a free vote amongst the people to allow death by euthanasia.
...vote amongst the people to allow death by euthanasia. More details Submitted by Raymond...allowing there lives to be ended by euthanasia to be given the right to do...
Closing Date: 03 Feb 10 | Creator: Raymond Palser | Status: live |
Number of Signatories: 27

Petition to: allow Human Euthanasia to those who have given prior written permission.
...petition the Prime Minister to allow Human Euthanasia to those who have given prior written...wish for the those in favour of Euthanasia to have to same rights as those...
Closing Date: 02 Feb 10 | Creator: Raymond Palser | Status: live |
Number of Signatories: 28

Petition to: retain the law that makes it a criminal offence to assist another person to ..
...assist another person to commit suicide. There has ...Skip to content...assist another person to commit suicide. More details ...assist another person to commit suicide. There has been a stream...
Closing Date: 29 Jul 10 | Creator: Anthony Bennett | Status: live |
Number of Signatories: 7,805

Petition to: Legalise Assisted Suicide....FAQs Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Legalise Assisted Suicide. More details Submitted by Harry Howard – Deadline to sign up by: 23 October...
Closing Date: 23 Oct 09 | Creator: Harry Howard | Status: live |
Number of Signatories: 75

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Finally, Celine, you asked this:

"Mr. Bennett. Out of curiosity, just how many petitions have you started to date? You must hold the world record by now".

REPLY: One on the PM's website to change the law so as to make it a criminal offence to leave young children on their own without reasonable excuse.

This one.

And a short-lived one earlier this year petitioning Channel 4 not to show a biased documentary featuring a one-sided 'reconstruction' of Madeleine's abduction.

Total: THREE.

For the record I also was active in supporting Liz Woolnough's petition calling for an enquiry into the handling by the British police of the Madeleine McCann investigation.

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Re: Petition to retain the law on assisted suicide

Post  fishie on Thu 10 Sep - 15:53

I won't be signing this one either.
As a nurse I recall patients being greatly distressed as their pain relief was often inadequate.Doctors are reluctant to prescribe strong analgesia such as opiates to frail people,as it can leave them open to charges of overdosing patients.
Palliative care is not as widely available as it needs to be.
Finally as someone living with badly managed (by doctors) chronic pain and a disabling condition which will lead to further deterioration in my health,I have already discussed with my family how and in what circumstances I wish to end my life.My husband and sons understand and have agreed to respect my wishes when the time comes.

My best wishes to Sprite and Amber and all those who are suffering or have relatives in poor health.

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