The old, ill, mute and frail will be deemed expendable if assisted suicide is legalised, a thinktank says today. Society’s most vulnerable risk being bullied into an early death by greedy or uncaring relatives or bureaucrats, according to a study published by the Centre for Policy Studies.
The warning follows the launch of Healthcare Professionals for Change last week, the first professional body of doctors and nurses set up with the explicit aim of changing the 1961 Suicide Act.
Assisted suicide is a criminal offence in England and Wales, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but the motives of those assisting death are at the centre of the decision over whether they should be prosecuted.
Cristina Odone, author of Assisted Suicide: how the chattering classes have got it wrong, said any attempts to change the law should be resisted.
“Legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia will put the socially marginalised at serious risk. Attempts to change the law should be resisted,” she said.