The big question

Right to live or right to die – do we strike the correct

Jean Stogdon
Grandparents Plus

I’m glad that a disabled man challenged doctors over whether or not
he would be fed artificially if he became seriously ill. The
medical establishment can tend to play God. I’ve felt strongly
about this ever since they put a “do not resuscitate” notice on my
husband when he had meningitis. He’s fine now.

Shaun Webster
Change self-advocacy group

I wish our system was more like the one in Holland where, if you
are very ill and want to end it all, then you can. People should be
able to write down their wishes on whether they want to be kept
alive or not. Then the doctors should have to do whatever it says.
That would give people a choice.

Karen Shook
Disability equality adviser

I think it’s unspeakable that people are denied water and
starved to death. The doctor’s view of whether someone has an
adequate quality of life is tainted by all sorts of things
including the cost of keeping the person alive. We are the experts
in how our disability affects us – not the professionals.

Joan Scott
Director, Action Unlimited

Once you reach 60 or so, some doctors start to make you feel you’re
a drain on the NHS – even more so if you have disabilities. They
often don’t realise what people are capable of. I think we have
been given life to live, and there’s too much talk about ending it.
But for those in a lot of pain there must be a better way out than
stopping feeding them.

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