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  • March 2007 : non-religious services for funerals

The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) reported that more than 30,000 funerals in Britain in 2006 were non-religious. In 1996 this had been ’virtually unheard of’, but one in 20 families now rejects a church service in favour of a celebration of life.
Besides personal belief, part of the appeal may also be the increased cost of conventional funerals. Britons spent £1.3 billion on funerals in 2006, with the average cost having risen by 61 per cent from £2,048 in 2000 to £3,307 in 2006.
See C. McClatchey, ’Rise of the funerals that leave out God. Religion is sidelined in thousands of ’celebration of life’ ceremonies each year’, Sunday Telegraph (March 4, 2007).

Ingrid Storm
  • 16 August 2012 : A man with locked in syndrome lost his High Court case to allow doctors to end his life without fear of prosecution.

Tony Nicklinson, from Wiltshire, suffered a stroke in 2005 which left him paralysed. He could only communicate by blinking and described his life as a "living nightmare". Mr Nicklinson said he would appeal against the decision, but died only six days later after refusing food and water. Nicklinson, was the public face of the right-to die movement and had a twitter account used for campaigns and interviews with the press. The case went further than previous challenges to the law in England and Wales on assisted suicide and murder. Another man with locked in syndrome, known only as Martin, also lost his case to end his life with medical help, and is continuing to campaign for the right to assisted suicide.

Read about Tony Nicklinson’s case on the BBC and Martin in the Guardian

Siobhan McAndrew, David Voas

D 25 mai 2016   

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