The compassion argument, as presented by proponents of the bill, runs something like this:
1 It is always right to act in a compassionate way;
2 Some terminally ill people face unbearable suffering and wish to have help in ending this suffering by bringing their lives to an end;
3 It is compassionate to provide
4 The law ought to be changed to allow this to happen.
Even if we leave to one side major difficulties in determining what legally constitutes “unbearable suffering” and “terminal illness”, the above argument is deeply flawed. Were it to be presented by a candidate in a GSCE religious education exam, I should expect an examiner to take a dim view of it.
The matter is, however, of more than academic interest; it is, in truth, a matter of life and death.