British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tells Parliament He Opposes Assisted Suicide
by Steven Ertelt
December 10, 2008
London, England (LifeNews.com) — Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, told members of Parliament yesterday that he opposes legislation that would legalize assisted suicide. Brown, whose comments come as an assisted suicide was shown on TV, told the House of Commons that people should never feel pressure to seek death.
"It is necessary to ensure that there is never a case in which a sick or elderly person feels under pressure to agree to an assisted death or that it is the expected thing to do," Brown said.
"That is why I have always opposed legislation on assisted death," the government leader added.
Brown, according to the pro-life group SPUC, also said that it was a matter of conscience on which parliamentary opinions differed — which could open the door to a private member’s bill despite his opposition.
Brown’s comments coincide with the showing of the assisted suicide death of 59-year-old Craig Ewert, who had motor neurone disease, on the Sky Real Lives channel.
As to the television program, Brown said "I think that it is very important that these issues are dealt with sensitively and without sensationalism."
"I hope that broadcasters remember that they have a wider duty to the general public. Of course, this will be a matter for the television watchdogs when the broadcast is shown," he added.
Several pro-life groups have already condemned the showing of Ewert’s death, and Care Not Killing, an alliance of groups opposing euthanasia, joined the chorus. The group says the program was a cynical attempt to get a big audience and it glorified assisted dying.
Meanwhile, Dr Brian Iddon, an MP who is a Labour member for Bolton south-east, blasted Sky as well.
"Should we now screen hangings that take place in other countries?… this [is] not the way to debate this issue," he said.
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