Lives our property

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Richard Lucas (Letters, 24 October) objects to assisted dying on moral grounds, then contradicts himself by reducing human life to the example of what he can do with his car. It is a crass example, but let’s play his game.

Mr Lucas is indeed correct; he cannot do whatever he wants to do with his car. He is bound by certain rules and regulations over his actions. And the same pertains to our lives, that we must live within the law for the good of society.

Now let us imagine a situation where Mr Lucas wanted to scrap his car, and was told he could not, even if it was no longer roadworthy. Let us further ­imagine then that he must not scrap his car because of a law based on an ancient book.

Mr Lucas may argue he does not agree with that book and wishes to discard his property as he saw fit. Imagine then how he would feel that if he ­attempted to discard his property he would be prosecuted, perhaps even jailed.

If Richard Lucas is reading this, I hope he will now finally see how those of us who support ­assisted dying insist that our lives are just that – ours. They are not the property of the state and far less of any church.

Leslie John Thomson

Moredunvale Green

Edinburgh

Our society has never known such levels of medical expertise and ability to control pain.

This is clearly one of the ­reasons supporting the claim by Care Not Killing (contested by Dr Bob Scott, Letters 24 October) that ­assisted suicide is ­unnecessary.

Our medical ethics since the time of Hippocrates have been built firmly on the principle of first doing no harm. It is the recent innovation that killing someone is not doing them harm which makes the pursuit of laws to allow killing ­unethical.

As for control, we can sweep the world to witness how ­assisted suicide and ­euthanasia have progressively widened to encompass people first who were suffering and dying, then to those just suffering and now to those just tired of living.

Now that some jurisdictions assert the so-called right to ­euthanise children the wake-up call surely has sounded that ­allowing any life to be deliberately ended puts everyone at risk, most notably the weakest in our society.

John Deighan

Parliamentary Officer

Catholic Parliamentary Office

St Vincent Place

Glasgow