There is, I realise, no perfect, neutral way of describing ‘assisted dying’, the substance of Lord Falconer’s bill which comes up for its second reading on 18
But how we name the thing matters. I was staggered the other week to hear the BBC, on its much-admired PM programme, using the formula of ‘campaigners for the right to die with dignity’ in the bulletin and news report on the Supreme Court ruling on Paul Lamb and Jane Nicklinson (acting for her late husband Tony) and a third man, called Martin. The tone of the report was supportive of their case, but it was the way the implicit bias was manifest in the 'dying with dignity' bit that got me.
So, let’s aim for a form of words from broadcasters which isn’t patently one-sided. ‘Right to die’ and ‘assisted suicide’ may not quite capture the essence of the thing, but they’re probably the best we can do.