Couple's Assisted Suicide Reignites Debate

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A British couple's decision to travel to Switzerland to kill themselves last week has reignited the debate surrounding assisted suicide.

Sir Edward Downes and his wife, Joan, ended their lives with the help of the group Dignitas. The couple had been married for 54 years.

Regent University's Dr. Mark Mostert, an expert on bioethics and euthanasia, talked with CBN News about the implications of this case. Click play for some of his comments.

They made the decision after Mrs. Downes, 74, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At age 85, Sir Edward had no life-threatening health problems.

The deaths have added fire to a long debate over assisted suicide in Britain and beyond.

Switzerland not only allows its own citizens to commit assisted suicide, but also foreigners. More than 100 Britons have gone to Switzerland to die in the last 10 years.

Media reports about the couple's deaths have also depicted it as a poignant love story. Critics, however, say that does nothing but glamorize assisted suicide, which can be dangerous.

*Originally Published July 16, 2009

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