The Independent Commission on Assisted Dying published its report today. It suggested the law in England and Wales should be changed to allow assisted dying for the terminally ill, with safeguards.
If you had asked me a year ago what the report would say, I would have told you it would suggest the law in England and Wales should be changed to allow assisted dying for the terminally ill, with safeguards.
The commission was a sham. Calling it a commission might suggest it was Government appointed. It wasn't. It was sponsored by Dignity in Dying, formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, and financed by supporters of assisted suicide.
Its chairman was Lord Falconer, an advocate of assisted suicide. He chose the 11 members of the commission. Nine of them were known supporters of assisted suicide. Forty organisations - including the British Medical Association - and more than 40 individuals declined to give evidence to the commission because of its evident bias.
I expect the findings of the commission will now be trumpeted by proponents of assisted suicide as evidence that the law on assisted suicide needs changing.
They say it is unfair that 20 or 25 people a year should have to travel to Switzerland to have help to end their lives. There would be 1,200 a year having their lives ended if we had a law like that in Oregon, and something like 13,000 a year if we had a law like that in the Netherlands, according to a 2005 House of Lords report.
The law does not need changing. The present law, properly applied, is a safeguard against pressure on the elderly and the disabled to end their lives.
And please don't tell us about adequate safeguards. There wouldn't be adequate safeguards. When abortion was decriminalised, we were told it was for a very small number of people in desperate circumstances. Within a short time, we had abortion on demand.
The day the law on assisted suicide is changed in the UK, if that day ever comes, will be a sad day.
Critiques of the commission and its report can be found here.