Doctors routinely assess to ensure there is no coercion of their patients by family or others. They routinely assess for the mental competence of a patient to make an informed decision. This is nothing new, just standard practice.
They make those same assessments when patients request terminal sedation, decline life support (heart, brain, lungs) or decide to discontinue life-saving treatment. These decisions usually lead to one outcome: death within minutes or weeks.
We trust our doctors to make these assessments and we are right to do so.
In the above scenarios, no second doctor opinion is required. No formal request need be signed. No formal reporting is necessary. One doctor’s opinion is deemed sufficient and society has no problem with that.
But just let assisted dying be proposed and notwithstanding the infinitely more stringent safeguards and the requirement to have two unrelated doctors make these assessments consecutively, up goes the wailing about coercion and the potential abuse of those with diminished mental capacity.
These claims defy logic. They are ideological scaremongering.
It seems to me that the End of Life Choice bill proposes a safer route even than current practice. And current practice is highly acceptable to all of us.