Tens of Thousands Sign Letters Against Legalizing Assisted Suicide in Britain

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 2, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Tens of Thousands Sign Letters Against Legalizing Assisted Suicide in Britain Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 2, 2006

London, England (LifeNews.com) — More than 72,000 letters have been delivered to members of the British House of Lords from UK residents who don’t want to see the nation legalize assisted suicide. The letters were given to members at the end of last week and another 8,000 people have signed a petition that will be presented to British Prime Minister Tony Blair next week.

Those delivering the letters included doctors, nurses, and people who have had personal experience of being with family or friends suffering from terminal illness.

Dr. Brian Iddon, MP for Bolton South and Chairman of the Care Not Killing Campaign, said the efforts were just the latest steps in a "massive, nationwide campaign against this deeply flawed and immoral Bill."

“We are encouraging everyone to stand up and be counted in the fight against the legalization of assisted suicide over the next few crucial days," he added. " Therefore urge people to get involved in order to let parliament know what ordinary people think — every individual protest really matters now."

Meanwhile, other pro-life groups are working hard to make sure Lord Joffe’s Assisted Dying For the Terminally Ill Bill is rejected in Parliament, including the Christian charity CARE, which is running an Internet and cell phone campaign.

The measure would overturn current British law that makes assisted suicide a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Andrea Williams of the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship told Christian Today that “If the law is changed to allow ‘assisted dying’ it is inevitable that emotional and financial pressures will be brought to bear on vulnerable people."

"The sick, frail or elderly often feel a burden on relatives, cargivers and a society short of resources," she explained. "A law allowing assisted suicide would place them under huge pressure and no amount of safeguards would ever adequately protect the vulnerable.”

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."

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing on May 12.

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: https://www.parliament.uk/directories/directories21.cfm. The postal address is: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW.