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Assisted Suicide Should Be Legalised: An Intelligence Squared Debate

Intelligence Squared will be hosting a debate - 'Assisted Suicide Should Be Legalised', with speakers including Mary Warnock and Debbie Purdy.


ASSISTED SUICIDE SHOULD BE LEGALISED: THE TERMINALLY ILL SHOULD HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO BE HELPED TO END THEIR LIVES

The law allows me to kill myself, but what if I have a progressive illness and reach a stage when I long to end my life but cannot do so unaided. Isn't it needlessly cruel and illogical that as the law s...tands, no friend or family member or doctor can then help me die without risking prosecution and a possible jail sentence? No it isn't, say those who oppose legalising assisted suicide. Think of the pressures that would build once it became a legally sanctioned option – not least the pressure to extend the category of those whom it is permissible to help kill beyond the terminally ill to the old, the frail and even the mildly depressed. Think of the internal and external pressure on elderly relatives to seek assistance for an early exit so as to avoid being a burden and using up the family inheritance; or the pressure on the NHS to create more bed space.

Would it not be better, say opponents of legalisation, to retain the kind of fudge we’ve got at the moment, allowing the Director of Public Prosecutions to give a nod and a wink to assisted suicide unless he suspects foul play? Or is that just a recipe for the very uncertainty – and attendant misery – that gives rise to such passionate calls for a change in the law in the first place?

Speakers include:

For the motion:
Mary Warnock - Moral philosopher, life peer and former Member of House of Lords Select Committee on Euthanasia.

Debbie Purdy - Campaigner who has sought to have the UK law on assisted suicide clarified.

Emily Jackson - Professor of Law at LSE.

Against the motion:
Lord Carlile QC - Barrister, Liberal Democrat peer and chairman of Care not Killing.

Baroness Finlay - Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University.

Lord (Richard) Harries of Pentregarth - Gresham Professor of Divinity, whose latest book is Questions of Life and Death: Christian Faith and Medical Intervention.

Chair:
Sue Lawley - Journalist and broadcaster.


Speaker(s):

Baroness Mary Warnock | talks
Debbie Purdy | talks
Chair: Professor Emily Jackson | talks
Lord Carlile QC | talks
Baroness Finlay | talks
Lord Richard Harries of Pentregarth | talks

 

Date and Time:

19 October 2010 at 6:45 pm

Duration:

2 hours

 

Venue:

Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London
SW7 2AR
020 7501 3000
http://www.rgs.org
Show map

Organised by:

Intelligence Squared
See other talks organised by Intelligence Squared...

 

Tickets:

Regular tickets are priced at £25

Available from:

http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/assisted-suicide-should-be-legalised

Additional Information:

Doors open at 6:00 pm. The event starts at 6:45 pm and finishes at 8:30pm

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