Compassion is in short supply, but hypocrisy abounds against the hapless victims of Covid

The last time, in 2015, that the House of Commons debated the proposal that doctors be allowed to help people diagnosed as terminally ill to end their lives was one of those occasions when the place was being self-consciously at its finest. On death, at least, it could be trusted to behave, if not to reconsider.

There were courtly congratulations to the originator of the bill (Lord Falconer) and to its Commons proposer, Labour’s Rob Marris, who urged compassion for dying people and relations forced to choose – if they could afford it – between travelling to Dignitas, yet more suffering and the risk of prosecution for assisting a suicide. Polls suggested that the public would, as now, overwhelmingly support such a reform.

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