Letter: Brady's `right to die'

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I found the use of the words "compassion" and "Ian Brady" in the headline of Deborah Orr's article ("We must show compassion and let Ian Brady die", 3 December) something of a paradox.

She fails to take account of the crucial differences in the cases of Brady and Myra Hindley. Hindley is in prison. Ian Brady is a patient in a secure mental hospital. Presumably he is being treated by doctors who are bound by the Hippocratic oath to keep him alive.

The statement that "the opinion of the parents of the victims counts the least" is offensive to those of us who have suffered similar losses, in its broad assumption that such an experience removes any capacity for objectivity or justice.

The killer who brutally murdered my goddaughter is also in Ashworth and, because of the rules of medical confidentiality, we are deprived of any information about his possible early release.

Brady and others like him have no "right to die" any more than they gave their victims a "right to live".

ROGER SLATER

Malvern, Worcestershire

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