In this re-post from the MercatorNet website by Deputy Editor by Carolyn Moynihan | July 14, 2017. In it she criticises David Seymour’s ‘End of Life Choice Bill”and says that “It only states that the person concerned must ‘have the ability to understand’ the nature and consequences of assisted dying. There’s no requirement to ask whether a person at this moment is thinking straight, whether their judgement is unimpaired. This would make people with learning difficulties extremely vulnerable. A person with Down syndrome, for example, could ‘understand’ from what they hear and see around them what euthanasia ‘means’ and say yes to it when they have not really understood at all.”
There is not much you could tell Professor, the Baroness Ilora Finlay about death and dying – outside of a war zone, perhaps. The Welsh doctor and Member of the British House of Lords (since 2001), was the first consultant in palliative medicine in Wales back in 1987 and set up the hospice system there. In 1989 she introduced the Diploma in Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University where she still teaches. She co-chairs Living and Dying Well, a think tank to examine the evidence around euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Over the decades Professor Finlay (pictured below) has cared for thousands of people at the end of their lives, and in opposition to the growing euthanasia movement has become an internationally recognised champion of the need for good palliative care for all those diagnosed with a terminal illness.
In 2005 she served on the House of Lords select committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill – an exhaustive inquiry into assisted suicide that resulted in the UK parliament rejected the bill. She was also a prominent opponent of a similar bill introduced in 2014 (that was also rejected).
Recently she visited New Zealand where a private member’s euthanasia bill (not the first of its kind here) is now before parliament. David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill would allow terminally ill people with six months to live, or people with a “grievous and irremediable” condition – that is, the chronically ill — to ask a doctor to help end their lives.