an information resource
for orthodox Anglicans

Belgian intensive care doctors back involuntary euthanasia

April 12th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By Michael Cook, Bio Edge

Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine.
Although voluntary euthanasia is legal is Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal. But the Society wants to be able to euthanase patients who do not appear to have long to live.
The Society spells out its policy very carefully. It is not about grey areas like withdrawing burdensome or futile treatment or balancing pain relief against shortening a patient’s life. It clearly states that “shortening the dying process by administering sedatives beyond what is needed for patient comfort can be not only acceptable but in many cases desirable”.
“Shortening the dying process” is a euphemism for administering a lethal injection.
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David Cameron ‘to oppose assisted suicide vote’

March 26th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

From The Independent

People could feel “unfairly pressurised” into ending their lives if laws on assisted dying are relaxed, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister indicated he would oppose a move to legalise allowing terminally ill adults with less than six months to live to choose to be helped to kill themselves.

His intervention came after Liberal Democrat Care Minister Norman Lamb spoke out in favour of reform, which he claimed had “quite widespread public support”.

Legislation has been drawn up by Labour former lord chancellor Lord Falconer of Thoroton and MPs would be allowed a free vote on the issue if it is debated in the House of Commons.

Under Lord Falconer's proposals, two doctors would have to sign off the fatal dose.

Several previous attempts to legislate on the issue have failed and both Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have said they personally oppose such a change.

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Disabled peer: Lord Falconer’s assisted suicide plans ‘send shiver down my spine’

March 24th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

Baroness CampbellBy John Bingham, Telegraph

Baroness Campbell argues that despite safeguards, Lord Falconer’s ‘assisted dying’ plans leave her feeling like she is already ‘on the list’

A seriously disabled member of the House of Lords has signalled that plans to legalise assisted suicide leave her fearful.

Baroness Campbell, one of Britain’s most prominent disability rights campaigners, said the proposals set out in a bill by the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, “sent a shiver down my spine”.

The proposals, due to be put to their first Parliamentary vote within months, would legalise so-called “assisted dying”, allowing doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who request them.

Two doctors would have to certify the person as being unlikely to have more than six months to live before the prescription could be made.

Peers are expected to vote on the plans early this summer and it could then pass to the Commons where there have been indications of growing support for a change in the law.

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Belgium: After euthanasia-on-demand for children, the next step is euthanasia without-demand

March 24th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By J C von Krempach, JD, Turtle Bay & Beyond

Joseph Conrad once coined the term “heart of darkness” to describe the atrocities of the Belgian colonial rule in what today is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Nowadays, however, the heart of darkness seems to be closer to home: in Belgium itself. By adopting a law that makes euthanasia available for minors, Belgium has surpassed its neighbours Netherlands and Luxembourg as the most euthanasia-friendly jurisdiction in the world, and must now be regarded as a world-wide champion of the Culture of Death.

The new law allows euthanasia for minors without any lower age limit, albeit with parental consent.

It is certainly strange that a legal system, in which children are below 14 are generally considered unable to form any legally relevant decision should nevertheless attach relevance to a declaration by which a child gives up its right to live. Leading paediatricians have vocally opposed the law, saying they had never seen, or heard of, a child asking for euthanasia. Like in all cases of euthanasia, or even more than in other cases, one has strong reasons to ask whether the objective is really to cater for the interests of the person to be euthanized. Is there not a risk – in particular for young children below the age of reason, that “mercy killing” will be imposed on them, because their parents are overwhelmed by the task of caring for them, and because healthcare providers suggest that caring for the sick child is not worth the expense? And is it really true that euthanasia will be restricted to the terminally ill, that would die within a few days anyway? Is it not much more likely that the law will soon be used to end the lives of children with a handicap – i.e., children that will require life-long care, but that could nevertheless still live for decades? It is an open secret that the practice of euthanasia, in all countries that have legalized it, by far surpasses the cases officially targeted by the law. But this is an inconvenient truth, and public authorities do not seem keen to find out about it.

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Psychiatrist opens door to “rational suicide”

March 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By Wesley J Smith, LifeSite News

I have been warning for many years about the “rational suicide” movement within the mental health professions.

The latest thrust to have psychiatrists sanction some suicidal patients’ self-destruction was just published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry–alarming considering the euthanasia movement’s current energetic attempts to legalize doctor-facilitated death there.
Psychiatrist Angela Ho argues that helping keep mentally anguished patients alive can be more harmful than their suicides. From the National Post story:
Most guidelines for managing people with suicidal thoughts are based on the premise that depression, substance abuse or other forms of mental illness drive suicide.
Little is said about the concept of rational suicide — managing cases of suicidal thinking in people without mental illness and with mental capacity, and who therefore should be able to make rational decisions, Ho writes.
“People may have difficulties coping with life,” Ho said in an interview. “Maybe they don’t have a lot of support or healthy ways of dealing with their emotions. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and feel like suicide is the only answer.” “The person says they want to end their life, but their thought process isn’t necessarily disordered because of depression or psychosis,” Ho said.
This is abandonment, pure and simple.
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Bishops should reject Assisted Suicide law

March 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

CEN editorial

The government continues apace with its secularist policies affecting the deepest moral customs of our nation, wholly unconcerned at the lack of any democratic mandate for such changes. Gay ‘marriage’ was the last diktat sprung on the astonished people of Britain by Mr Cameron, riding roughshod over millions of people who profoundly disagree with the very idea, especially given the existence of civil partnerships. This was sprung on the nation with no referendum on so deep a change and not a hint in his election manifesto. Now we hear that the PM is arranging a free vote on legalizing assisted suicide for people who have incurable illness and wish to end their lives. The people designated to assist with such killing are the medical profession. The advance of the secularist agenda in radically eroding the core Christian understanding of the sanctity of life was shown last month when Belgium became the first country in the world to allow euthanasia for any age group, after its parliament backed amendments to the existing law in order to help end the life of a terminally ill child. Secularist articles are now appearing arguing for disabled newborns not to have the right to life: we are rapidly embracing a utilitarian ‘culture of death’. Hard cases make bad law.

That seems to be a principle needing radical reinforcement in this question. Yes, of course everyone is deepy sympathetic for the suffering of a person who cannot be cured and faces a life of frustration and pain, and wants to end life. Cases of such people refusing treatment, or force feeding, are distinguishable: they should not be compelled to receive such treatment to keep them alive, although problems arise when they are not mentally fit to make any decision. Active intervention to kill is however where the line is crossed. This happens on a huge scale with abortions in the UK, foetuses considered not yet persons. Newborns being killed takes this a step further, as argued by Peter Singer, and the Belgian law a stage further still. Young life had been regarded as especially vulnerable and in need of state protection, not state euthanasia – how can such a child give informed consent? The government plans a free vote on whether to allow the killing of terminally ill suffering people. As individuals, they can of course, if able, take their own life via the necessary drug mixture.

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New parliamentary bid to legalise assisted suicide

March 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

From CEN

MPs ARE TO HAVE a free vote on a bill allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients to die. The bill, which has been drawn up by Lord Falconer, is expected to be debated within a few months. Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat minister with responsibility for care of the elderly and the disabled, has announced that he will vote in favour of the bill. He told the Sunday Telegraph that the Government should not ‘stand in the way’ of people who want to end their life providing that appropriate regulations were in place. Opinion polls suggest that up to 75 per cent of the population support assisted suicide although church leaders have opposed the policy. According to the Daily Mail 30 per cent of MPs support a change in the law and 40 per cent are undecided, meaning that there is a strong likelihood that the measure will be passed.

At present helping someone to end their life can lead to a punishment of up to 14 years in prison but in 2010 the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Keith Starmer, announced that anyone ‘acting out of compassion’ who helped a loved one to die who had reached a ‘settled and informed’ decision was unlikely to be charged. The guidelines were issued in response to a case brought by Debbie Purdy, a terminally ill woman who won a ruling in 2008 requiring Mr Starmer to say whether her husband would be prosecuted for accompanying her to the Swiss Dignitas clinic to die. The bill drawn up by Lord Falconer allows doctors to prescribe a fatal dose of drugs to people who have less than six months to live. Two doctors would be required to sign the prescription. Patients would be expected to take the drug themselves although doctors would be able to help them if they had difficulty in swallowing. The bill will be first introduced into the House of Lords within the next four months.

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First abortion, now suicide: we’re on a slippery slope

March 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia, pro-life/abortion Comments Off

by Norman Tebbit, Telegraph

Years ago when that thoroughly decent man David Steel brought in his Abortion Bill he explained that it was not intended to provide abortion on demand, but to end the sordid trade of the back-street abortionists who frequently botched the procedure, inflicting pain and injury on their clients. Many of those who supported him did so for that reason, despite warnings that it was a step too far on to a very slippery slope which would lead to abortion on demand.

Those warnings have proved prescient. Not only has the Steel legislation been greatly widened in scope, but in practice abortion is now available on demand, well past the time when the child would be capable of survival and in practice up to full term. Nor is there any need of evidence of any congenital defects or disorders. All that is necessary is that the mother so wants to be rid of her child that she can find two doctors (who it appears do not actually have to see her) to say that her health might be adversley affected if the child was born. Indeed some doctors regard the mother's reluctance to bear a female child for social reasons as sufficient evidence to allow an abortion.

Now the former Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer plans to bring in his Assisted Suicide Bill to allow doctors to provide lethal medication and asstance if needs be to patients they believe to have less than six months to live.

At present it is a criminal offence to asist in a suicide, but a prosecution requires the consent of the Attorney General and that is rarely forthcoming as he would have to believe that improper pressure had been put on a person to take their own life.

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Assisted suicide moves closer as Government allows free vote

March 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

by John Bingham and James Kirkup, Telegraph

The Government says it will allow MPs a free vote on Lord Falconer's Bill introducing assisted suicide, bringing legislation a significant step closer

The legislation of assisted suicide has moved a significant step closer after the Government made clear that it would not stand in the way of a change in the law.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs and peers – including Coalition ministers – will be given a free vote on a Bill that would enable doctors to help terminally ill patients to die, The Telegraph can disclose.

The proposed legislation will come before Parliament in the next few months.

On Saturday night, Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat and the minister responsible for care for elderly and disabled people, was among the first to say he would vote in favour.

Several other ministers and senior MPs and peers have previously signalled support for the move. Mr Lamb said he was now convinced that “the State should not stand in the way” of people determined to end their life, as long as strict safeguards were in place.

Under the 1961 Suicide Act, it remains a criminal offence carrying up to 14 years in jail to help someone to take their own life.

Read here

Read also:  I want to be a burden on my family as I die, and for them to be a burden on me by Giles Fraser, Guardian

Read Cranmer here

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Recession has heightened euthanasia ‘danger’ to disabled and elderly, claims peer

March 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

Hostility towards disabled and elderly in wake of recession means it would be a ‘dangerous time’ to consider changing law no assisted suicide, says Baroness Campbell

The threat to frail elderly and disabled people from relatives tempted to get rid of them under the guise of euthanasia has grown “dramatically” in the wake of the economic downturn, one of Britain’s most prominent disability campaigners has claimed.

Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, who suffers from a degenerative illness, issued an impassioned plea in the House of Lords against moves to further relax Britain’s laws on assisted suicide warning that it was a “dangerous time” to consider any change.

She argued that part of the legacy of the long economic downturn and austerity programme had been a serious hardening of attitudes towards vulnerable members of society.

Pensioners and disabled people are routinely branded “scroungers” or accused of being a “burden” and in some cases suffering open abuse and even attacks, she said.

In such an atmosphere, relaxing the law on assisted suicide would be like an open invitation to those with something to gain from pressurising them into ending their lives, she insisted.

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Why euthanasia slippery slopes can’t be prevented

March 5th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By Margaret Somerville, MercatorNet

I have been receiving emails from people, including some with disabilities, who are angry about my opposition to legalizing euthanasia. The people with disabilities are not dying; they just do not want to continue living in the state in which they find themselves. It’s clear they believe they would be able to have access to euthanasia were it to be legalized.

Pro-euthanasia advocates claim, however, that only members of the “end-of-life population” – who they might be is not defined – will have access and that legalized euthanasia will be rarely used. They believe “sensible regulation” (the Globe and Mail’s editors’ term) will ensure such rarity and that no logical slippery slope (the groups allowed access to euthanasia continually expand) or practical slippery slope (euthanasia is abused or used outside the regulations governing it) will result.

To decide who is correct, we need to tease out several strands in the euthanasia debate.

The strongest case for euthanasia is made by a seriously suffering person, such as Dr. Donald Low, the well-known and highly respected Toronto public health physician, who, five days before his recent death from a brain tumour, made a video pleading for “medically assisted death”. He asked us to put ourselves “in his body” and imagine what we would want. Our hearts, understanding and compassion rightly went out to him. His plea resonated with something Sue Rodriguez, who suffered from ALS and in 1993 lost her case for legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the Supreme Court of Canada, said to me: “How can you be so cruel as to deny this to me? Even a man condemned to death is given his last wish.”

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Russia tightens gay adoption ban, politician wants to outlaw Belgian adoptions over child euthanasia

February 19th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Euthanasia Comments Off

By Colin Kerr, LifeSite News

After Belgium’s Parliament passed a bill last week allowing children to be euthanized, a Russian politician is urging his government to consider outlawing adoption to the country.

The news comes mere days after the Russian government passed a law forbidding the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples and by single people who live in countries where same-sex “marriage” is legal.
“The Russians are to be congratulated for taking a lead in the world in protecting children,” Gwen Landolt, vice-president of REAL Women of Canada, said in an interview with LifeSiteNews.
Roman Khudyakov, a member of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, has requested the Russian Foreign Ministry to investigate the Belgian euthanasia law’s implications for children adopted to that country, reports RT, a Russian new agency.
In 2013, approximately 5,700 Russian children were adopted by foreigners, according to Adoption Today. In 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin made headlines when he signed a bill forbidding adoptions to the US. This was largely seen as an act of political retaliation for the American government’s criticism of Russia’s human rights record. The US had been adopting about 1,000 Russian children per year before the ban came into effect.
If the US were to follow Belgium’s euthanasia expansion—and that contemplated in Quebec—even more of the approximately 120,000 Russian children awaiting adoption could be permanently denied adoption. This is an aspect of the euthanasia debate that has received little consideration.
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Physicians are Healers – Not Killers

February 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

From the American College of Pediatricians

Gainesville, Florida – February 17, 2014 – It is the role of every medical professional to deliver care to ailing patients with compassion, always striving to preserve the patient’s life and dignity. The American College of Pediatricians is appalled by Netherlands’ recent legalization of Neonatal Euthanasia and Belgium’s legalization of euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age, and alerts healthcare professionals to the possibility of similar legislation in the United States.
The concept of euthanasia is based on a utilitarian worldview that defines the value of the individual in terms of that individual’s contribution to society. This ideology relegates neonates, especially those infants with congenital defects, to an expendable status. Dr. Den Trumbull states, “This belief system underlies many of the current proposals for the allocation of healthcare resources in America. Even the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prescribes that scarce resources be focused on adolescents and adults under 50. The youngest who have not yet contributed to society and the oldest that have already “lived long enough” are to receive only attenuated interventions. Under this system, certain newborn infants would be considered the least worthy to be recipient of available medical resources.”
Physicians are healers not killers. An individual’s future quality of life cannot be predicted by caregivers.
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Petition to: Philippe, the King of the Belgians

February 14th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

Your Majesty:

You are the King of the Belgians and as such committed your people. You are use to signing every law that has been adopted by the democratically elected Parliament, even if you do not agree with them. However, there are laws that will affect not only Belgium but also Europe in the long term.

Such is the terrifying euthanasia law regarding minors, which will be have signal character to the rest of Europe. Please listen to the many voices at home and abroad, warning you of the dangers of this law – your Episcopal Conference and the members of parliaments across Europe who have spoken up clearly against this law.

As concerned citizens of Europe, we write you to urge you not to sign this bill, even if it will be a challenge for you to defend this decision. Please do not say yes to the most frightening law on euthanasia worldwide.

Listen to your conscience and stand as a monarch with ethical principles. Show yourself worthy of the challenge for which you have been prepared throughout your life.

Sign Petition here


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Belgium expected to legalise euthanasia for children

February 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

From The Guardian

Belgium, one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal, is expected to abolish age restrictions this week on who can ask to be put to death – extending the right to children for the first time.

The legislation appears to have wide support in the largely liberal country. But it has also aroused intense opposition – including from paediatricians – and people have staged noisy street protests, fearing that vulnerable children will be talked into making an irreversible choice.

Backers such as Dr Gerland van Berlaer, a prominent Brussels paediatrician, believe euthanasia is the merciful thing to do. The law will be specific enough that it will apply only to the handful of teenage boys and girls who are in advanced stages of cancer or other terminal illnesses and suffering unbearable pain, he said.

Under current law, they must let nature take its course or wait until they turn 18 and can request euthanasia.

"We are talking about children that are really at the end of their life. It's not that they have months or years to go. Their life will end anyway," said van Berlaer, chief of clinic in the paediatric critical care unit of University Hospital Brussels. "The question they ask us is: 'Don't make me go in a terrible, horrifying way, let me go now while I am still a human being and while I still have my dignity.'"

The Belgian senate voted 50-17 on 12 December to amend the country's 2002 law on euthanasia so that it would apply to minors, but only under certain conditions. Those include parental consent and a requirement that any minor desiring euthanasia demonstrate a "capacity for discernment" to a psychiatrist and psychologist.

Read here

Read also:  Belgium to euthanise her children Belgium to euthanise her children from Cranmer

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Belgian Parliament on verge of fully legalising child euthanasia with final vote on 13 February

February 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Euthanasia Comments Off

By Peter Saunders, CMF

I have previously documented Belgium’s meteoric rise to become the euthanasia capital of Europe and its concomitant grisly descent down the slippery slope.
Now the country is moving to allow euthanasia for sick children.
The measure has already passed by 50 votes to 17 in Belgium’s upper house and only needs a vote in the lower house to pass fully into law.
The Belgian government announced yesterday that the debate on the child euthanasia bill, in the Chamber of Deputies, will occur on 12 February.
According to the Belgian media the vote will likely happen the next day, but possibly on the same day of the debate.
The bill is being fast tracked likely because a strong opposition to it is developing.
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Scotland’s assisted suicide bill is an offence to our human dignity

February 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By Kevin McKenna, Guardian

Margo MacDonald's second bid to push through her death bill is chilling and wrong

Margo MacDonald's campaign to establish a culture of death in Scotland is growing increasingly bizarre and more chilling. She appears hellbent on becoming Scotland's very own Angel of Death. MacDonald, a once formidable politician, who has borne her own Parkinson's disease these last few years with courage and dignity, now risks contaminating her superb record of public service with this bizarre and alarming campaign to make it easier for people to kill themselves.

In the death of her own political career, she is being assisted by Patrick Harvie, who leads the Green party in his spare time when he is not trying to eradicate all vestiges of Christianity from Scottish public life. Harvie is rather like a barnacle here, clinging on to the hide of a rusting and once magnificent ocean-going liner.

MacDonald's previous death bill, introduced in 2010, was soundly defeated in Holyrood by 85 votes to 16. She has now spent the last two years chiselling it down a little in a bid to hoodwink those who voted against it the last time. Essentially, though, despite a bewildering and meaningless set of new safeguards, the new version of the bill remains the same and carries the same contempt for the sanctity of all human life.

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Holocaust Memorial Day – Let’s not forget the leading role doctors played

January 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Eugenics, Euthanasia Comments Off

by Peter Saunders, CMF

Monday 27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day, marking the liberation of prisoners from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp 69 years ago.

The millions of Jews and others killed during the Holocaust have been remembered in services today across the UK.

More than one million people, mostly Jews, died at the Nazi camp (pictured) before it was liberated by allied troops in 1945.

But the horrific genocide of six million Jews was only the final chapter in the story.

What is far less well known is the role of doctors in the process.

Twenty-three physicians (see below) were tried at the so-called Nuremberg Doctors' Trial in 1946, which gave birth to the Nuremberg Code of ethics regarding medical experiments.?????  ??????Many others including some of the very worst offenders never came to trial (see full list here)

What ended in the 1940s in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Dachau and Treblinka had much more humble beginnings in the 1930s in nursing homes, geriatric hospitals and psychiatric institutions all over Germany.

When the Nazis arrived, the medical profession was ready and waiting.

Read here

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Assisted suicide storyline on Coronation Street – Five myths about death and dying

January 16th, 2014 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By Peter Saunders, CMF

This morning I took part in a debate on the Radio Four Today programme (listen here) about the assisted suicide story to be screened next Monday in a British television drama (see my previous blog on this here).
The ITV Soap ‘Coronation Street’ is running a story centred on Hayley Cropper, a transgender character who has been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

According to media reports she declines pain relief out of fear that it might confuse her sexual identity and dies after drinking a lethal cocktail, the contents of which are not specified.

I am not opposed in principle to drama programmes dealing with this issue but as a doctor who has managed many dying patients I expressed concern this morning that all media portrayal of suicide or assisted suicide has to be done with the utmost care and sensitivity so as not inadvertently to steer vulnerable people toward suicide.
On the basis of the reports I have heard the programme runs the real risk of giving credence to five dangerous myths about death and dying.
Read here
Read also:  A troubling Coronation Street plot and why I fear that euthanasia will be legal in 10 years by Stephen Glover, Mailonline
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We legalise ‘assisted dying’ at our peril

December 15th, 2013 Jill Posted in Euthanasia Comments Off

By Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Telegraph

We are seeing a predictable upsurge in the activities of the “assisted dying” lobby in the run-up to the Supreme Court’s hearing of three appeals next week. What is being called “assisted dying” is a complex subject and it is very easy, amid all the argument and counter-argument, to lose sight of what the central question is. It is not whether “assisted dying” is compassionate. Compassion is common currency to both sides of the debate. It is whether we should license it by law.
In plain language, “assisted dying” means licensing doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients to enable them to commit suicide. Assisting suicide is against the criminal law, and with good reason: the prohibition is there to protect vulnerable people. As a society, we go to considerable lengths to prevent suicide, and doctors have an important role to play in this. Yet some are suggesting that this process should be put into reverse for terminally ill people and that doctors should be licensed to facilitate their suicide.
Campaigners throw up their hands at the word “suicide”. Giving lethal drugs to someone who is terminally ill isn’t assisting suicide, they say, but assisting dying. Similarly, Lord Falconer’s Private Member’s Bill, now before the House of Lords, describes the lethal drugs that it wants doctors to be able to supply to terminally ill patients as “medicines”. Such euphemisms may make the idea of changing the law more palatable, but they obstruct reasoned debate.

Read here

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