Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Mercy Killing: A Touchy Subject

My political beliefs are a mixture of liberal (for American readers this means something quite different to what liberal means in America) and libertarian tenets and policies. So you'd think I'd be fully behind euthanasia and mercy killings and, logically, be supportive of Ray Gosling as he faces prosecution for the murder of a former partner.

Whilst I am sympathetic to the awful situation he faced, I cannot in good conscience support the concept of someone who not only acted independently to take the life of someone else but who announces it to the world at large later on.

My beliefs about individual liberty mean that, if someone leaves a living will stating that if a) or b) occurs then they should be allowed/helped to die, I must accept there is a place in our world for euthanasia. But I cannot accept that informal agreements between individuals that are not even written down should serve as an excuse to allow a mercy killing to pass unchallenged. If we turn a blind eye and allow such flimsy, unsubstantiated excuses to stand then our murder laws will become meaningless.

Euthanasia should be legal. I have MAJOR personal reservations about it's morality and it's affect upon medical staff, but my beliefs in your right to do what you want with your body far outweigh my own petty concerns. But there must be accepted, agreed standards for when and how this can happen and I believe Ray Gosling's case cannot ever meet any such FUTURE standards that as yet remain unagreed. He should be tried for murder, and his fate decided by a jury of his peers.

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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