Assisted dying

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It is blatant discrimination in your editorial (1 May) to characterise the legalisation of assisted suicide as some kind of two horse race between Christians and the “rest”.

There are plenty of secular reasons to oppose assisted suicide and the proponents of the change in the law know this all too well.

A “right to die” on behalf of an individual implies a “right to kill” on behalf of society. All members of society will then share in the responsibility of the killing.

Some human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights are absolute for our protection. Our right for life and not to be tortured is absolute. The rule of autonomy is important but not absolute. It has its own limits which is why someone cannot accept selling themselves into slavery or being tortured.

The right to life and the right not to be tortured trumps the rule of autonomy. We made that “choice”, to abide by human rights legislation, in our Scotland Act which guides our Scottish Parliament.

One choice determines other choices. All this legislation is considered secular.

Assisted suicide promotes the idea that if a person is of no use they should be killed. We have been here before. It wasn’t good. Kill the bill, not the person, and protect life and real choice.

Belgium, only ten years after first legalising euthanasia, now extends its blessing to euthanasia combined with organ harvesting: euthanasia harvests.

The guidelines being carved up paradoxically will start telling people where they must die, ie in a hospital so their organs can be collected immediately. So much for assisted suicide as the gateway to unlimited autonomy and Hollywood-style deaths.

Rachel McKenzie

South Oswald Road

Edinburgh