Wednesday, November 4, 2009

British Couple, Dennis and Flora Milner, End Lives.

I've sat on this story for two days waiting for more information regarding the case and the manner in which the Milner's took their lives. Some of the reports have been inaccurate, saying that the Milner's opposed assisted suicide; rather the couple sent a letter to the BBC before ending their lives that was critical of Britain's ban on assisted suicide.

The topic of assisted suicide has engaged the British this past summer because of a case brought to the courts by Debbie Purdy, a multiple sclerosis patient, who wished to ensure that her husband, Omar, would not be prosecuted under existing British suicide laws for helping her to leave the country to end her life. The government was forced to revise their prosecutorial guidelines regarding those who assist the death of another person.

For more on the Milners, see here, here, here.

For Wesley J. Smith's analysis, see here. Unfortunately, he sheds little life on end of life choice and he and his commenters continue to conflate a desire for hastened death with depression. For those who believe doctors or God or the state has jurisdiction over suffering and our lives, the Milner's choice makes no sense. For those who believe in autonomous choice, it may.

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