Assisted Suicide

The Mansfield case should never be a reason to change the law on assisted suicide in the UK. 

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Phil Friend posted the following comment on the Not Dead Yet UK Twitter page. The Mansfield case (UK) concerns Graham Mansfield who killed his wife, Dyanne,  in a suicide pact, but then failed to kill himself. The UK assisted suicide lobby claims that this case is a good reason to legalize assisted suicide. 

Friend wrote:

A man who slit his wife’s throat “in an act of love” and tried to kill himself has been found not guilty of murder after a judge accepted the couple had made a suicide pact.

Mr Mansfield called for a change in the law on assisted dying: “I’d just like to say, the law needs to change. Nobody should have to go through what we went through. Unfortunately, today, my wife is not here. She shouldn’t have had to die in such barbaric circumstances. That was what we had to resort to” [https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jul/21/man-73-cut-wife-throat-suicide-pact-cleared-murder-manchester-graham-mansfield]

Not Dead UK says, “The Mansfield case should never be a reason to change the law on assisted suicide in the UK. This was not an act of compassion, it was an irrational and horrific response of someone who desperately needed mental health support. The current system works as an effective deterrent to some who may want to end the life of a vulnerable person for reasons which are currently unlawful. It is crucial to protect and support all people in that situation. What this story tells us is that Mr Mansfield and his wife did not receive this help.

Unfortunately, those who support assisted suicide are using this horrific tragedy to promote a need for a change in the law. But this will not help those people and their loved ones who are in desperate need of both timely physical and mental health care, not an assisted death. We at Not Dead Yet UK find using this tragic case to promote assisted suicide is disturbingly unethical”.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

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