Thursday, August 25, 2016

If "the people have spoken" what have they said?

Image result for opinion poll icon
The Parliamentary Health Committee, along with all its other business, is commencing to hear some of the 1800 who have asked to air their views on voluntary euthanasia. Members of the Committee will tour the country to make it possible for selected submitters to have their say.

It’s interesting that nearly 80% of the 21450 submitters are against voluntary euthanasia. However, public polls have risen consistently to almost the same figure in favour of it. 

The cynic in me suspects that a large proportion of the submitters simply sent in their names and addresses and a single statement such as “I am opposed to voluntary euthanasia”. This, as I have stated previously, is clearly what the somewhat biassed Chairperson urged his Catholic community to do last year.  See “Turkey” Collins, 30th March 2016 and my less filppant Ask Someone Else, Simon, 31 Jan 2016.

As far as I know, the Clerk of the Committee has not yet released an analysis of the submissions received; indeed, the impression given is that they still haven’t finished counting them! It’s usual for submissions to be classified as to weight and relevance and I, for one, would like to see that information.

I haven’t heard if my request to speak will be accepted. It’s hard to see how I could add anything to a debate in which so much about the facts and fallacies on both sides has been widely shared. But if I’m asked, I’ll be there... 

For me, and a few dozen others each year, this is a very personal issue.

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