Cllr Denise Mullen: Assisted Suicide Must Not Be Imposed On The North by London
Responding to legislative efforts in the House of Lords to legalise Assisted Suicide, Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster, Denise Mullen, has said we must not allow Assisted Suicide to be illegally foisted upon the North in the same way abortion was by London.
Cllr Mullen: “This is a highly emotive issue, and one where the utmost sensitivity and compassion is needed in discussing and debating policies in the area. However, equally important is that what is being talked about is not misrepresented with euphemisms to ensure its passage. This is a conversation over whether the State should allow for, and assist in helping people to commit suicide. The Bill being proposed in the House of Lords would bring Assisted Suicide to Ireland and fundamentally alter society, and not for the better. Assisted Suicide can alter society’s view of our most vulnerable, and can have a damaging effect upon their treatment within society. We have no doubt that many of the proponents of this Bill do so for reasons of empathy and compassion. However legalised Assisted Suicide is an outlier internationally because of the massive problems it can cause within the rest of society. For example, in many jurisdictions, after legalising Assisted Suicide there tends to be a divestment from health care and support for older people and people with a terminal illness. Assisted suicide recommits elements of our healthcare service to ending life – not preserving and improving life. Our emphasis should be on increased investment in palliative care, not investment in life-ending procedures.”
“The bi-products of Assisted Suicide within society are just as damaging. The legalisation of Assisted Suicide will inevitably lead to increased rates of Assisted Suicide than proponents of the legislation will admit or anticipate. In Belgium, where the most extreme Assisted Suicide regimen is in place, 1 in every 20 deaths are now recorded as Assisted Suicide. In societies where ‘Assisted Suicide’ has been legalised, the regime of Assisted Suicide does not stay ‘safe, legal and rare’. It becomes ‘common, widely-used and normalised.’ In Belgium, Assisted Suicide can now be sought by children. In Holland, a 29 year old woman was able to be euthanized on account of her mental health difficulties. Assisted Suicide where legalised becomes freely and widely available, with those opting for ‘Assisted Suicide’ being mostly younger people. Assisted Suicide also puts extreme pressure on those who are elderly or those with disabilities, making those people feel as if they are a burden on those around them and should simply dispose of themselves to make sure they are not. Assisted Suicide is not confined to the decision by any one person, its effect is far more widespread – altering society’s dedication to preserving life Assisted Suicide is a concession that no hope remains, and that a limited life is not one worth living. In recent studies in countries where Assisted Suicide is legal many older people feel pressure to opt for it as they feel a burden on their family and society. It is significant that so many medical professionals who dedicate their lives to working with people in palliative care oppose Assisted Suicide. And it is absolutely wrong that this decision is being forced on this part of Ireland by London. These decisions should be made by Stormont alone.”