Assisted dying

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Writing against assisted dying, Rachel McKenzie (Letters, 5 May) states: “The right to life and the right not to be tortured trumps the rule of autonomy.”

Firstly, the right to life is not denied by assisted voluntary 
euthanasia.

Ms McKenzie is yet another person who plays down the voluntary aspect, preferring to weave a sinister vision of people being killed because they are of no use, or so their organs can be collected. How often must we clarify that the purpose of assisted dying is release from suffering at the patient’s request?

Secondly, if we have a “right not to be tortured”, assisted dying should be permitted, so that people can choose not to be tortured by incurable conditions without having to surrender to drugged-up stupefaction.

Robert Canning

Bridge of Earn

Perthshire

Rachel McKenzie’s fears about assisted dying seem a bit outlandish, but I’m glad we are having this debate out in the open.

I see strong arguments for and against on both sides of this enormous issue and hope we can all learn more about it before big decisions are made.

Angela Innes

Dundas Street

Edinburgh