Letter: Care for the dying

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Letter: Care for the dying

Sir: Your editorial on euthanasia ("People can no longer duck euthanasia legislation", 12 May) wants it both ways. You call for a change in the law because of Dr Moor's acquittal. But if he had been convicted would you not have said the same?

His acquittal shows that the law has got it about right. It is less likely he would have suffered prosecution in the first place if he hadn't made provocative public comment. His primary intention was to relieve suffering.

If there had been a less dangerous means of pain relief he would have used it. This is a reassurance to every patient. When I'm dying I hope to be sure that even if I'm depressed, or feeling guilty to be a burden to others, or if my relatives are manipulative, or the doctor is therapeutically bankrupt - still the law will defend me from execution.

But if an agreed treatment shortens my life as a side-effect, no one left behind will have any reason to feel guilty. We need better treatment, sure, but leave the law as it is: it protects people at their most vulnerable.