When should a person be allowed to die?

The UK's Supreme Court has ruled that in future doctors will be able to remove life-support for patients in a permanent vegetative state with the consent of their relatives. Up to now this had only been possible if the relatives took the case to court. Some journalists praise the decision while others see it as transgressing a moral boundary.

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The Guardian (GB) /

A pragmatic approach to death

The Supreme Court made the right decision, The Guardian comments approvingly:

“The only thing a recourse to the courts would do under the present law would be to delay, complicate, and make much more expensive a process that would inevitably reach the same conclusion. Monday's judgment still - and rightly - reserves a decisive vote for the courts in cases where there is no agreement about what is in a patient's best interests. Slippery slope arguments have some force but this judgment comes with crampons. The really difficult and dangerous steps will come if parliament extends the law towards assisted dying for the fully conscious.”

The Times (GB) /

This is euthanasia

The Supreme Court has gone too far with its judgment, The Times warns:

“So where next on this slippery slope? The judges say the court should still be involved in such cases if doctors and family disagree. Well, it doesn't take much to imagine a cash-strapped hospital pressuring a distressed family to agree to withdraw nutrition and fluids to avoid the length and trauma of a court case. It doesn't take much to imagine a court ruling, somewhere down the line, that the family's wishes should count for little, or nothing at all. Ending a life on compassionate grounds is euthanasia.”