Sir – Media coverage of assisted suicide – euphemistically called ‘assisted dying’ – frequently includes no counter comment from the many groups who oppose it and stand to be seriously impacted by it. It’s concerning that an issue as weighty as this should not receive balanced coverage.
It is also common to see the media frame opposition as coming exclusively from “religious groups”. This is what campaigners vying for assisted suicide do, disingenuously. I personally know atheists, humanists, agnostics, Christians, Hindus, and many others who are opposed.
Many people also oppose the practice based on their professional experience in spheres such as medicine, disability advocacy, and suicide prevention. Or because they have looked at the issue more closely and encountered disturbing reports about what is occurring in countries like Canada.
We need a debate that’s informed by many perspectives, and that does not allow campaigners to single out and patronise people of faith. Those who cover assisted suicide must fearlessly pursue the truth, ask hard questions, and consider whether the rhetoric of campaigners is truthful.
I hope that The Courier can lead by example and commit to a better quality of reporting. It’s vital because a law change would radically alter the fabric of our society.
This letter was published in The Courier on Thu 17 August 2023. Image credit: Courier Newspaper, available here.