Unlike Master Worstall, I am generally in favour of euthanasia. As you know, I have worked with people who have the most appallingly crippling conditions. One of these people was a 29-year-old with multiple sub-arachmoid haemorrhages. He was unable to feed himself, walk, or even to read a book and, by the time that I finished working at the home, his wife had left him. There was no hope of recovery, and almost no hope of any kind of meaningful improvement. The prognosis was, as they say, not good and he could live for another forty years like that (I do not actually know whether he is still alive), but he was not actually, actively dying.
Tim refers to Dr Crippen, writing on the same subject (ironically, given his posting name).
I have looked after more terminally ill patients than I care to think about and, as I get older, it gets more and more difficult. I have never killed a patient. I have never been asked to kill a patient.
Doctor Crippen is rather luckier than I was: my patient asked me a number of times if I could kill him. I could not—I had no access to drugs—and would not (I have no desire to go to prison for murder). It was a slightly invidious position in which to place me, but I cannot blame him: I would want to be given the option to die if in the same position.
Whilst I appreciate that legislating to allow euthanasia is a very slippery slope, I would love to try to find a compromise. Indeed, I must attempt to find one in my own mind: I could not live like my patient. But I must find a workable compromise for, one day, that person pleading repeatedly for death might be me. It is not, as Dr Crippen says, that dying is a bugger: it is that living is.