The British Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to defeat a bill pro-life groups opposed that would legalize some assisted suicides.
Leading pro-life campaigners are welcoming the defeat of the Assisted Dying bill in Parliament today. MPs voted by 330 to 118 to reject Rob Marris MP’s bill to enlist doctors to assist suicide for certain people. The vote of 330 represents an absolute majority of MPs.
During the debate, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, a breast cancer surgeon, said: “I have never considered as a doctor that death was a good treatment for anything.”
Paul Tully of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children told LifeNews: “This was an important victory for true compassion. It is a vote of affirmation for all those healthcare staff looking after terminally ill people. It will be a great relief to those with disabilities, chronic conditions and degenerative illnesses. The threat to them has been averted for now.”
Tully said rejection of the assisted suicide bill was not a rejection of the terminally ill or disabled — quite the opposite.
“The challenge we face as a society is to ensure that in future those affected by serious and limiting conditions are not left feeling desperate for lack of proper living support,” he said. “It is important to recognise that the defeat of the bill does not mean that people in severe pain will suffer more – in fact the bill included no mention of pain. Palliative care specialists can nearly always provide effective pain relief, even for very severe pain, and this is rarely cited as a reason for contemplating suicide.”
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Tully continued: “The campaign against this bill has helped to highlight the failings in support which can leave people feeling frustrated and suicidal. Along with ongoing efforts to improve palliative care for people in terminal illness, the demands for improvements in this area must be heeded.
“However, it would be foolish to think that better palliative care and better support for disabled people will stop the euthanasia lobby demanding medical killing. The ideologues of euthanasia will continue to press for right to demand death regardless of the consequences. We must remain vigilant against this threat,” he said.
LIFE Spokesman Mark Bhagwandin said: “We commend MPs who despite enormous pressure have voted to protect the sick, disabled and elderly in society who would have been placed at risk had this bill been successful. There were no clauses in the bill which, when taken as they were or even amended, would have provided effective protection for the vulnerable. We are happy that Parliament listened to the voices of those who would have been directly affected by the Bill and to the voices of the people who care for them.”
Bhagwandin told Lifenews.com: “Whilst we sympathise with the situation some people may find themselves in, empowering people with the legal ability to help others die opens up the very real possibility of abuse. Those doctors and those groups who represent the vulnerable must be praised for speaking up for the right to be protected. Today Parliament remembered its duty to protect the vulnerable and voted against this bill.”