Fatal flaws

ALAN Hinnrichs' three arguments in favour of assisted suicide add little to the case of the pro-death lobby (Letters, 22 January). Certainly, animals are killed to relieve suffering: they are also killed to be eaten. We do not normally think it good to treat human beings as animals: Mr Hinnrichs does not make it clear why we should change our minds when people are at their most vulnerable.

He goes on to note that it is nobody else's business if someone should choose to end his or her own life. Whatever else might be said about this, suicide itself is not a crime. It is only at the point when others make it their business to be involved in killing that society rightly becomes concerned.

Finally, he suggests that the only opposition to assisted suicide comes from religious cranks. All other considerations aside, such intemperate blustering about the rational concerns of those who disagree with the proposed legislation should convince impartial observers of the recklessness of Mr Hinnrichs' position.

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(DR) STEPHEN WATT

Greenfield Crescent

Balerno, Edinburgh