This article was published by HOPE Australia on January 15, 2015.
By Paul Russell - The Director of Hope Australia
Kevin Yuill in an article published in Spiked, reflects on the situation of the Belgian prisoner, Frank Van Den Bleeken. Van Den Bleeken was granted his request for euthanasia only to have it cancelled days before it was to be carried out.
Yuill observes the hypocrisy of some in the British commentariat:
“British commentators were mainly aghast at what they saw as the reintroduction of the death penalty. Some objected to Van Den Bleeken’s death on the basis that he, as a prisoner, should not determine his own sentence. Others, such as barrister and ethicist Daniel Sokol, felt that Van Den Bleeken’s death would not be a voluntary act because he had been denied psychiatric treatment. Sokol also argued that ‘[a]llowing a prisoner, who is not terminally ill, to die by euthanasia has a whiff of the death penalty’. In other words, the same people who support Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill in the UK, as well as others who support right-to-die laws in the US, shuddered at the thought of granting the right to die to a prisoner.”