More pressure for UK assisted suicide

Vicki WoodMore pressure this week in the UK to legalise assisted suicide. Vicki Wood, a seasoned euthanasia campaigner, committed suicide in the Dignitas clinic in Zurich, Switzerland. The 67-year-old toymaker and artist was suffering from an unspecified illness. More than 130 Britons have died at Dignitas since it opened in 1998.

In 1999 Ms Wood was convicted of attempted murder after she tried to smother her husband. She had described it as “mercy killing”, because her husband was suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The judge sentenced her to two years’ probation with the provision that she was not to see her husband alone for the rest of his life. Her husband died 9 months later.

And former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has called for a Royal Commission into assisted suicide. A patron of the lobby group Dignity in Dying, the Australian-born Ms Hewitt told Parliament this week that one in 500 deaths was the result of illegal voluntary euthanasia.

"Other desperate people find that they have to refuse food and water, a wretched process, in order to exercise some control over when and how they die. And each year, a number of terminally ill people – it is impossible to say how many – resort in desperation to violent, lonely and often botched suicides." ~ Guardian, Mar 11

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | assisted suicide, Dignitas, euthanasia, UK

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