Today The BMJ (British Medical Journal) is again calling for the UK law prohibiting assisted suicide to be changed. It is doing this ahead of an event on the subject to be held at the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) tomorrow (Friday, 9th).
Not Dead Yet UK is shocked that The BMJ has sought to hijack the debate and marginalise the views of terminally ill and disabled people. The BMJ contains several articles advocating for a change in the law but not a single one by a disabled or terminally ill person fearful of a change in the law to permit assisted suicide.
Currently, suicide is not illegal but helping someone else to commit suicide is. The BMJ and others would like the law changed to legalise assisting the suicide of disabled and terminally ill people meeting certain criteria. As such they seek to introduce a form of disability discrimination: assisted suicide only if you are terminally ill or disabled.
Not Dead Yet UK membership comprises disabled and terminally ill people who oppose any change to the safeguards provided by the current law. Our views have been heard and heeded in Parliament and, most recently, at the High Court. Unfortunately, The BMJ does not consider our views worthy of consideration or inclusion in its publication.
Not Dead Yet UK’s Juliet Marlow, who will be speaking at the RSM event said, “Yet again, The BMJ has presented a highly partisan view based on the simplistic assumption that this is a straightforward issue. It is not. As disabled and terminally ill people we know that better than anyone else. Yet The BMJ thinks knows best. How patronising”!
Baroness Jane Campbell said, “Disabled and terminally ill people need the medical profession to help us to live – not to die. The vast majority of the medical profession understands and respects that. I cannot understand why The BMJ does not”.