Writing on Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, Lord Carlile of Berriew says Parliament cannot decide whether it is safe to change the law unless it has approved a safeguarding system.
The law that we have accords completely with social attitudes to suicide – that, while it may be understandable in individual cases and should be treated with understanding and compassion, suicide itself is not something to be encouraged or assisted. An ‘assisted dying’ law flies in the face of this. It says that there are some suicides which as a society we should facilitate. And it drives a coach and horses through a fundamental principle of medicine – the principle, which underlies all clinical practice, that a doctor should, above all, ‘do no harm’.