This website considers the possibility of a legalized doctor-assisted suicide for all those who are ninety and over who have now reached the stage of a “Completed Life”. It has been created by Michael Irwin, who was a physician with the United Nations for thirty-two years (from 1982 to 1989, he was the UN Medical Director, in New York). After returning to the UK (in 1993), he became the Chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, now known as Dignity in Dying (from 1996 to 1999, and again from 2001 to 2003), and was also the President of the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies (2002 to 2004). He will be ninety in June 2021.
In 2015, several members of the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide (now known as My Death My Decision, a right-to-die campaigning group in the UK) agreed on the following definition for a “Completed Life” – “Elderly, mentally competent individuals may consider that their lives are complete when they have a chronic health problem (or a combination of more than one condition) which is causing them increasingly unbearable, irreversible suffering, with the additional loss of independence, purpose and meaning in their lives, so that they would now prefer to die rather than stay alive, especially as they dread what the future will soon bring”.
In recent years, several national opinion polls, in the UK, have shown public support – between 66% and 70% – for old age rational suicide.
And, it is important to remember the April 29, 2002 statement from the European Court of Human Rights – “In an era of growing medical sophistication, combined with longer life expectancies, many people are concerned that they should not be forced to linger on in old age or in states of advanced physical or mental decrepitude which conflict with strongly held ideas of self and personal identity”.