Your correspondents are quite correct in attacking us as a society for condemning Tony Nicklinson to spend his remaining years in a “living” hell (Letters, 18 August).
It has been clear for decades that we were fast reaching the point where very difficult and harrowing decisions would have to be made to deal in a civilised manner with such tragic cases, which will inevitably multiply as medical science develops further.
Already, average lifespans greatly exceed the traditional three score years and ten, due in part to our increasingly “artificial” methods of death control.
A commission should be set up to make recommendations within six months and, if approved by parliament, enacted within a further six months, comprising medical, legal, theological, academic, social service and other relevant disciplines.
As chairperson, I would suggest someone with the broad expertise and transparent humanity of Alexander McCall Smith, whose medical, ethical, legal and linguistic abilities would appear ideally suited to the task.
Scotland itself surely has the requisite range of experts if the UK coalition is not prepared to establish such a commission. The UK parliament could then simply adopt Holyrood’s law.
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