By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Telegraph UK news reported on the assisted suicide deaths of Scottish cousins, Stuart Henderson (86) and Phyllis McConachie (89), who had lived together for 40 years and feared living alone. They died at a suicide clinic in Basel Switzerland.
They were not sick or terminally ill, they were older and feared living alone.
Last year the Swiss suicide groups agreed to extend assisted suicide to people who are elderly but not terminally ill.
Peter Saunders, Campaign Director for the Care Not Killing Alliance stated that these deaths were a great tragedy. Saunders stated:
“Assisted suicide in these circumstances is the ultimate abandonment,”
“This tragic case strongly underlines the need for comprehensive and affordable patient-centred care in which people's social and spiritual needs and not just physical needs are provided for."
Assisted suicide bills are being debated in Scotland and the UK.
Once society decides that it is acceptable to cause the death of people, the only question remaining is who can be assisted in their suicide.Henderson and McConachie feared living alone. It is concerning that the Swiss suicide group visited them and agreed that their lives were not worth living.
They needed adequate home care and support not assisted suicide.