April 16, 2024

Pressure builds for UK euthanasia

Dutch expert on slow euthanasia pays visit

Dame Joan BakewellPressure is building
in Britain for the legalisation of assisted suicide. The Government’s
“voice of older people”
is pushing it hard. In an
article in the London
Dame Joan Bakewell has expressed her
disappointment that Australian euthanasia activist Dr Philip Nitschke
was so shabbily treated by immigration authorities and local
government officials on his tour. “It’s no way to treat someone
who is telling many people what they want to know,” she says.

Dame Joan says that
debate over assisted suicide and euthanasia will not fade away
because baby-boomers, “a generation of assertive and insistent
individuals”, will not accept “their declining years with timid

She also gives a
publicity fillip to the visit of a Dutch doctor who is an expert in
sedating people to death, thus tiptoeing past the current ban on
euthanasia. Dr Boudewijn Chabot will be giving a free workshop on May
16, “One Way to Die — Stop Eating and Drinking”, which give
detailed information on using drugs as well as committing suicide by

In an interview with
Evening Standard
, he said “I’m not an activist like
Mr Nitschke — my approach is very different. It’s always a
difficult decision to inject lethal medication but it’s the
compassionate thing to do in these cases.”