Assisted suicide for the elderly

Did anyone else read that article in one of the Sunday papers recently suggesting that it would be an enormous help to the NHS – financially speaking – if people aged 70 or over who had an illness which wasn’t going to improve did a financial favour to the NHS and opted for assisted suicide? The rationale being that that way the NHS would be saved a considerable amount of money and the sick old person would have a speedy and dignified death.

Yes money would be saved but in this case I think money is a red herring – have we totally lost our humanity? There are cases where it would be a merciful release either because the person is in tremendous pain or in a vegetative state being kept alive by machines. I feel that it does not make a society more or less civilised to hasten the end of an old persons life – it is not an unusual concept in other societies – based always on the practical mindset – one must think of the cost to young people etc. although I do not think this is a valid comparison.

Also is it not necessary to assure old people that they are valued and loved and not wished away because they cost too much. Basically it comes down to the individual – if they are determined to end their life they will – society, science etc all the arguments are just that – talk – let people decide for themselves – in the end it is a personal decision.

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