Analysts in the House of Lords dig beneath recently published figures concerning suicide among terminally ill people in England
The independent think tank Living and Dying Well - whose patrons and members include a significant number of peers with expertise in law, medicine and other relevant fields - has commented on claims by Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) concerning the current rate of suicides among terminally ill people in England.
'The proponents of legalisation, for whom Oregon's rising death rate is an inconvenient issue, suggest that around 300 terminally ill people here are already taking their own lives annually...
'Let us put aside the issue of whether a 4 per cent sample is reliable as a basis for drawing any valid conclusions and let us look at what conclusions are actually being drawn. We are told that "knowing the number of dying people who end their own lives provides an insight into the problems that the current law creates". The inference here is that, if we had an assisted suicide law like Lord Falconer is proposing, that would enable terminally ill people who take their own lives to do so in a regulated manner.
'But would it?'