I hear that the Select Committee on Health may have no other topics of business for some time. We are told that the staff have been sorting no less than 15,000 submissions received by 1st February. They are reported to be somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of work involved. The issue of "voluntary euthanasia" for some terminal elderly is alive and well and our people have been having their say.
It will be really unfortunate if the sheer amount of paperwork gets in the way of a good discussion. And it will be fascinating to see the analysis of the submissions. Given that quite a few people will have just written statements such as "I am against any form of doctor assisted death" (surely that is not so much a submission as a vote, of course) there must still be a large number of citizens who have given serious thought to the issue.
But how many points are there to make on this matter? Isn't it probable that we've heard there is to hear on both sides of the issue, that we have heard all the arguments, that we have access to all the necessary facts? If my request to be heard in a personal submission is accepted, I can't imagine anything I can say that won't have been said by dozens if not hundreds of others. In a way, I won't be upset to be declined an appearance.
What the country needs now is for Parliament to make some kind of decision that reflects - to an appropriate extent - the declared views of the majority of the population. The Committee can help this process by a thorough analysis of the submissions and the issues and, perhaps, a reasonably prompt and decisive report to Parliament.