The Herald Newspaper in Scotland published this commentary on January 13, 2015.
In the debate on assisted suicide, we are all ultimately on the same side: we all want to limit suffering.
Compassion motivates all those who are genuinely interested in the debate. There is all the difference, however, between limiting suffering and ending life.
Committed supporters of assisted suicide have to as ask themselves two fundamental questions. First, how much risk to the vulnerable are they prepared to accept in order to facilitate suicide by the invulnerable? Secondly, where to draw the line in determining what suffering "qualifies" for assisted suicide?
No safeguard can ever be 100 per cent effective. As well as the clear abuses, there would also be the inevitable subtle pressures on those whose illness or condition met the criteria. On a recent BBC Radio 5 Live phone-in, Michael, who has motor neurone disease, explained how he is asked several times a week whether he would consider assisted suicide.