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May 07, 2006

Mary Warnock

Stunningly original ethicist that she is, Baroness Warnock on assisted suicide:

By far the greatest number of those who oppose the bill do so on the grounds that it forms the top of a slippery slope down which we shall all slide if assisted suicide is permitted. The slope has many tracks leading inevitably, it is supposed, to different kinds of disaster at their foot. Although the slippery-slope argument is necessarily speculative, dealing as it does with a hypothetical future, those who use it often cite analogies from other laws that have become gradually less restrictive - the abortion law in this country, for example, or the law governing euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Yup, that is one of the arguments, glad you’ve noticed. So what to do about it?

And, in a very general sense, it is doubtless true that one thing leads to another and vigilance would be needed to ensure that the safeguards in the bill, such as the requirement that the patient be fully competent, were not relaxed without further legislation and that doctors did not become careless of the law.

We’ll try very hard. Great, wonderful.

This is, of course, the woman who once indicated that people might have a duty to die at a time convenient to their children and the National Health Service.

May 7, 2006 in Health Care | Permalink


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I wasn't aware that Lady Bracknell was a real person. Honestly, if it weren't for blogs I'd be living in some kind of strange fantasy world!

Posted by: Dan Collins | May 7, 2006 1:21:06 PM

The same Mary Warnock who advocated the ending of separate schools for 'special needs' children and then told us years later she'd made a mistake?

Posted by: Pete | May 7, 2006 10:33:04 PM

That woman is a bloody menace: on the other hand, you can oppose her advice with a 95% probability of being right.

Posted by: dearieme | May 8, 2006 10:48:19 AM