Assisted dying looks closer than ever to becoming law in the United Kingdom. Both the House of Lords and the Scottish parliament have recently discussed proposals for it and polling suggests eight out of ten people in Britain favour a change to the law.
It is hard not to agree that people should have the option to end their lives. But assisted dying should not be treated as a glorified painkiller. Though campaigners are undoubtedly sincere in their desire to alleviate distress, the history of the assisted dying campaign suggests that often there are those with a more worrying goal: the use of assisted dying to create a more ‘efficient’ society.