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UK Baroness Says Assisted Dying Would Bring Coercion & Abuse

Baroness Ilora Finlay and her colleague Robert Preston will debate Maryan Street, Lectretia Seales’ lawyer Andrew Butler, and Professor Andrew Geddis at an event in Parliament on Wednesday, 28 June.

Baroness Finlay – a professor of Palliative Medicine and an independent crossbench member of the UK House of Lords – is opposed to the introduction of “assisted dying” legislation such as that proposed in David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill.

“Proposals like Mr Seymour’s are written as if everyone is perfectly autonomous, never susceptible to outside influence or depression, and in a strong and stable frame of mind,” says Baroness Finlay.

“But my experience with thousands of patients is that, as doctors, we cannot detect coercion behind closed doors. People are vulnerable when in the crisis of a devastating diagnosis.”

“Changing the law to license doctors to provide or administer lethal drugs to seriously ill patients would represent a major change. It requires doctors to pass judgement on social issues of which, in many cases, they have no knowledge.”

“The safeguards proposed afford no protection from the real-world stresses of terminal illness, clinical practice, and social dynamics.”

Baroness Finlay and Robert Preston, Director of the UK think tank Living and Dying Well, are in New Zealand for the remainder of this week. They will be taking part in a public conversation in Auckland on Thursday evening at the Horse and Trap.


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