We can’t be afraid to talk about topics that scare us

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VERITY LUSH: Unrealistic to think we can blanket cover moral issues

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We sometimes expect our politicians and decision-makers to provide us with an easy answer to everything.

But there are times when reaching any kind of definitive conclusion feels impossible.

When you consider the many complex considerations at stake in relation to the issue of assisted dying, it’s no surprise that opinion on this matter should be divided, or that emotions should be running high.

Life is precious. So precious in fact that there would be something seriously wrong if we didn’t agonise over the issues raised by the Commission on Assisted Dying and its report into whether those with a terminal illness should be allowed to end their own lives.

Those against calls for the law to be changed will be vehemently against the findings of this report. We understand their anger and their opposition.

But no-one should turn their back on the fact that there are people living with conditions that afford them no relief and little or no quality of life.

And that is why we should welcome the fact that this report has been commissioned – no matter how controversial we might find what it suggests.

As a society, it’s clear that we need to talk about what happens to us as we reach the end of our lives.

It’s too important to get this wrong and should no longer be treated like a taboo subject.

Many have argued that end-of-life care in this country is patchy. Surely that’s reason enough to take a proper look at how we treat the dying and their families?

Some patients already go to great lengths to end their lives and that means we must take a look at the laws we have in place too.

There are no easy answers and this report certainly doesn’t mean that we’ve reached a point where we can say assisted dying should be allowed or not.

We have, however, moved a step closer to confronting an issue that causes some to live in fear of what’s going to happen to them and their loved ones in future.

Many more conversations still need to be had. But we should all be pleased that the dialogue has at least begun.

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