Chronic Pain Sufferer Fights to Make Assisted Death a Human Right

Assisted Death

While you are holding on dearly to your life hoping that when the devil strikes, you will be advanced in age, rich, with grandchildren and a legacy to leave behind, you should consider your right to die in case of an unforeseen event flashes by.

63-year-old Paul Lamb who got paralysed from the neck down following a car crash nearly 30 years ago and has been living with the chronic and excruciating pain launched a fresh legal challenge to the law that criminalises assisted suicide.

Mr Lamb needs 24-hour care and wants to be able to end his life at a time he chooses. According to him, being alive could be considered torture, and that the current law breaches his human rights. He would need help to end his life but assisting a suicide is a criminal offence carrying a maximum 14-year prison sentence.

“When it’s bad it’s like I’ve been smashed on the back of the neck with a baseball bat, or I’ve been knocked over by a bus. The worst thing in the world is for someone to say ‘you’re going to be in pain for the rest of your life, and I’m going to make sure you’re here for a lot of years. It can be construed somewhat as torture,” said Mr Lamb.

In 2014 Mr Lamb lost a case at the Supreme Court which had argued the current law breached the right to a private life of those in his position. However, the court said parliament should be given the opportunity to reconsider the law.

Mr Lamb’s new case, supported by Humanists UK, who campaign on issues of secularism and human rights, has not been catching the eyeballs of the government which has failed to address the issue of those in his position, hence the court intervention.

He also argues more people support legalising assisted dying as the current law unfairly discriminates against people who are suffering incurable and are unable to end their own lives without assistance noting that countries like Canada allow it.

Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanists UK, says the right to die “in a manner and timing of your own choice is a fundamental human right.” But many fear that a change in the law could pose a big threat to many lives.

Comments