The United Kingdom abolished their capital punishment laws the same year they decriminalized abortion but is now considering voluntary euthanasia for prisoners facing a life time in jail. Mark Leech, described as an ex con who ‘turned his life around’ is editor of the Prisons Handbook and favors this pro-active practice. Holding up Dignitas, the euthanasia clinic in Zurich as the model for his program — the same Dignitas known for suicide tourism as people arrive almost everyday from neighboring countries to end it all. Leech is convinced that we each have one life and it is our life to do with as we wish and as long as checks and balances are in place, no worries. The checks and balances are: mental state is in tact, aware that the decision is irreversible and that this is his life to do with as he wants. An odd list of checks and balances for someone who is facing the reality of a life time in jail with no way out–other than drinking the hemlock.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.