Tony Nicklinson is a man in the news this week because he was left paralysed and with locked-in syndrome by a stroke seven years ago, and he has called for doctors to end his life. He is asking doctors to turn the Hippocratic oath on its head because, unlike other people, he does not have the means to end his own life.
So what do 'others' do to end their own life? Do they do a Reggie Perrin and cause untold trauma to the people who discover the body? Do they throw themselves in front of a train and so end another train driver's career? I cannot think of a convenient way for people who have the ability to end their own life.
Now think of the moral implications. Even if Tony can disregard the Ancient Greeks as being old-fashioned then how does he justify his views when compared to religions that hold life as sacred? I suppose the views of others do not concern him, but they should because doctors are other people too and he is asking them to kill him.
The analogy related to the train driver would be that Tony is asking that driver to place him on the lines and then the driver has to drive in the full knowledge that he is there.Of course there may be those who say that it is alright because Tony's are exceptional circumstances and deserve exceptional measures. The words slippery slope come to mind.
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