British Pro-Life Advocates Urged to Write Parliament on Assisted Suicide

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Pro-Life Advocates Urged to Write Parliament on Assisted Suicide Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 28, 2006

London, England ( — Pro-life advocates in England are being urged to write to members of Parliament in advance of a debate next month on a bill that would legalize assisted suicide there. The House of Lords is expected to take up a bill sponsored by Lord Joffe on May 12 that would overturn current British law that makes assisted suicide a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Catholic leaders are saying the bill would violate the Hippocratic ethic of the medical profession and the hospice movement that seeks to provide care and help for disabled patients, not death.

Lord Carlile, a pro-life attorney, told the Independent Catholic News that "it is inevitable that many cases of homicide would be allowed to slip through the net if this kind of bill became law."

The Church of England recently released a statement saying "it will be the poor and disadvantaged who suffer the consequences" if assisted suicide is legalized.

The hospice movement is also opposing the measure.

The Association for Palliative Medicine (APM) says 90 percent of practicing palliative medicine doctors oppose a change in the law and the National Group of Palliative Care Nurse Consultants says the assisted suicide measure "is fundamentally flawed and sets a dangerous precedent."

In order to defeat the legislation, doctors, disability rights advocates and the pro-life community have come together to form a new organization.

The Care Not Killing Alliance, formed in February, reflects the concern the individual groups have about the possibility the British House of Lords could approve the legislation, backed heavily by euthanasia advocates.

John Wiles, chairman of APM told the London Times that his group is one of the organizations participating in the coalition.

He said the various groups are concerned that opposition to the euthanasia lobby has been too weak and not cohesive. He said 18 groups have come together to form the alliance.

“Euthanasia is about killing people, so we decided not to be too subtle,” he said.

ACTION: Take a few minutes to contact members of Parliament and urge strong opposition to the bill. The names of all members of the House of Lords are listed at: The postal address is: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW.