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Monday, May 15, 2006


As everyone knows by now, the Lords voted to delay the progress of Lord Joffe's bill by six months, effectively meaning (if I've picked this up right) that the Bill is killed off for this parliamentary session, and will have to start again from the beginning. Thanks be to God! Te Deums all round. Thank God for the House of Lords - I suspect (though this may be pessimism) that the Commons might have felt more compelled to represent the whatever-large-percentage-it-is of people who (according to polling, caveat lector etc etc) do want assisted suicide to be legalised.

Incidentally, is anyone else getting really annoyed with the use of the phrase, 'helping someone to die'? The term you're looking for, duckies, is 'killing'. Possibly 'putting down', if you want a time-honoured euphemism. As far as I know - though as ever, am open to correction on sciency matters - an ill person is not (physiologically) struggling to die and being cruelly thwarted. He is rather having great difficulty in living.

Anyway. Meanwhile a pensioner has been imprisoned, and removed from the waiting list for a hip replacement, because he sent pictures of aborted babies to hospital staff. One may well disagree with his tactics - for several reasons, it's not something I'd do - but, when it comes down to it, refusing a man medical treatment because he showed hospital staff images of a procedure which is legal and which is performed at the hospital in question does not seem remotely reasonable. As a pro-abortion commentator in the Times, indeed, points out.