In an era of growing medical sophistication, combined with longer life expectancies, many people are concerned that they should not be forced to linger on in old age or in states of advanced physical or mental decrepitude which conflicts with strongly-held ideas of self and personal identity.
European Court of Human Rights, 2002
In refusing dying people the right to die with dignity, we fail to demonstrate the compassion that lies at the heart of Christian values.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Washington Post, 2016
There seems to me to be significantly more justification in assisting people to die if they have the prospect of living for many years a life that they regarded as valueless, miserable and often painful, than if they have only a few months left to live.
Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, in the Tony Nicklinson legal case, 2014
I think Lord Falconer, in saying that if you’re within the last six months of
your life, misses the point that Tony Nicklinson, myself, Paul Lamb – the people
whose cases have all been public – all have to face decades of a life that we
don’t consider acceptable, and that is the thing I find hardest.
Debbie Purdy, Right-to-Die Campaigner, 2014 in her last interview
Only with a legal Euthanasia Bill on the statute books will the many people who find themselves in the same situation as me be able to slip away peacefully in their sleep instead of dreading the night.
Lord Rix, former actor, cross bench peer and President of Mencap, 2016 in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Lords
Making someone die in a way that others approve, but he believes is a horrifying contradiction of his life, is a devastating, odious form of tyranny.
Ronald Dworkin, Philosopher and lawyer, 1993
The world is rapidly ageing – people over 60 years of age already exceed children under five, and by 2050 they will outnumber children under 15.
Silvia Stefanoni, Chief Executive of HelpAge International, 2013
Many of us would like to have some control over the time and manner of our deaths, should we find ourselves in a condition so hopeless that there is no point in going on…
Thomas Nagel, London Review of Books, 2011
When you see poor people, poor in the sense of having some wretched disease, pleading for their lives to be brought to an end … It’s difficult to think that they don’t deserve to have that right.
Sir David Attenborough, Daily Mail 18th November 2015
I might go to Dignitas, if I was in enough pain and suffering and I was causing a lot of disruption and pain to everybody around me. I don’t know if I could be bothered getting on a plane and going to Switzerland. I’m very Irish about that. Can we not do this kind of thing at home? I would have thought it is a basic human right, but it is bound around by religious considerations
Sir Terry Wogan, who died 1st Feb 2016