I just watched this year's Richard Dimbleby Lecture, which is a lecture given by a prominent figure on a topical issue each year in the memory of the BBC broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.
The lecture was entitled Shaking Hands With Death and was by the author Terry Pratchett on the topic of what he calls assisted death but is probably more commonly referred to as assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia, a topic that has got a lot of coverage on the back of the Dignitas Clinic in recent years. It's also a topic of personal interest to Terry Pratchett because he has a form of Alzheimer's disease, which is currently incurable. You can read a (very) abridged and edited version of the lecture here, or watch on the iPlayer if you're in the UK.
It was a bold, moving, thoughtful and funny piece that argued "My life, my death, my choice" and that a person should be able to chose to die a medically assisted death when suffering a debilitating and incurable illness. And...well, I find it very difficult to argue with that and thought it would be interesting to see if anyone here does. There are religious concerns, I understand, which is not something I easily sympathise with and also the argument that palliative care is always a superior alternative to letting someone die even if they wish to. Personally, I wouldn't feel qualified to say that what I think best overrides someone's decision when they are in that situation and that their choices - provided mental competency is established - should and must be respected. It seems the humane thing to me.
But I wonder what your thoughts are?