Mail Online reports here -
An 83-year-old dementia sufferer plans to die at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic, it was claimed yesterday.CCD says -
The British professional man would be the first to end his life at the Swiss clinic purely because of dementia.
His plans were publicised by Michael Irwin, a campaigner nicknamed Dr Death, who says he has helped at least 25 people who have died at Dignitas and advised many more.
Mr Irwin, 80, has been investigated in the past over assisted suicide – an offence carrying a 14-year jail sentence – but has never been arrested.
Around 150 Britons are thought to have died at the clinic, which exploits liberal Swiss laws on assisted dying.
Among them were a number of people who were not dying, notably 23-year-old Daniel James who was paralysed because of a rugby injury, and musician Sir Edward Downes.
The decision of a dementia sufferer to use Dignitas will alarm right-to-life and disability campaigners because of the implication that those with Alzheimer’s or similar conditions should consider killing themselves.
The individual is said to be at an early stage of dementia and to have a report from a psychiatrist asserting that he is mentally competent to choose to kill himself.
Dr Peter Saunders, of pressure group Care Not Killing, said once euthanasia was legalised in any circumstances ‘you inevitably end up widening the category of people to be included.
This shows that if we were to change the law in this country there would be pressure to apply it to dementia patients’.
The individual is said to be at an early stage of dementia and to have acquired a report from a psychiatrist which gives the opinion that he is mentally competent to choose to kill himself.
Help To Live Not Die
CCD Opposes Assisted Suicide
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is a national organization of people with disabilities that works To Build a More Inclusive and Accessible Canada. Legislators, the courts, health care practitioners, legal scholars, ethicists and the general public have all been preoccupied with issues surrounding assisted suicide and euthanasia. Precedents have been established in some other countries. A recent judgement handed down by a British Columbia court (Carter Case) opens the door for assisted suicide here in Canada even though no safeguards have been created to protect vulnerable poeple in our society.
Sadly, we as people with disabilities are viewed as living lives of suffering. Some consider our lives not worth living and believe we would be better off dead. Rather than being singled out as the only group deserving physician-assisted suicde, we need to know people want us alive, not dead. We are people with disabilities. We are moms and dads, students and teachers, workers and unemployed, young and old, and leaders and active citizens in our communities.
We want help to live our lives not end them.
CCD needs at least $10,000 to ensure that our voice is heard at the BC Court of Appeal. The appeal of the Carter decision will be heard in March 2013. CCD asks for your support to offset our legal costs and costs of people with disabilities attending the hearing. We need your support to ensure that the judges hearing this appeal know that legalizing assisted suicide makes persons with disabilities more vulnerable.
All donations will be used to support the voice of people with disabilities and CCD's opposition to assisted suicide. CCD is a charitable non-profit association and will provide tax receipts for all donations.
Other Ways You Can Help
You can also help by speaking out about the concerns of people with disabilities in regard to assisted suicide.
Write letters to the editor in response to media coverage of this issue.
Talk to your friends and colleagues about this issue and how and why it puts people with disability at risk.
Share this campaing with others.