British Disabled Group Launches Campaign Against Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 3, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Disabled Group Launches Campaign Against Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 3
, 2010

London, England ( — The British disability rights group Not Dead Yet has launched a new campaign against assisted suicide and euthanasia in central London. The group is asking members of Parliament to resist pressure to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia and protect the rights of the disabled.

Not Dead Yet, a group of disabled and terminally ill people whose concerns have been heightened by the current economic climate and calls from politicians from all parties for cuts in public services, is behind the effort.

The group are asking MPs to sign a seven-point charter asking them to recognize "that disabled and terminally ill people should have the same legal protection as everyone else."

Other points ask MPs to show "a commitment to support disabled and terminally ill constituents to access the health, social and other services that they need" and "a commitment to oppose any change to the current law, which would make assisted suicide legal in the UK."

Not Dead Yet says, "Not one organization of, or for, disabled and terminally ill people has campaigned for any change to current legislation [i.e. to make assisted suicide legal]."

"This includes organizations that advocate on behalf of people with multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease; two disabling conditions that are often referred to when describing who would benefit most from a change in legislation," the organization added.

John Smeaton, the director of the British pro-life group SPUC, highlighted the campaign on his blog and said he supports it.

"Disabled people should be offered help, not encouraged to end their lives prematurely," he said.

Euthanasia issues have been on the forefront of the minds of Britons as debate has raged about legalizing assisted suicide and on whether to prosecute the families of those who take loved ones to other nations to kill themselves in what is commonly called "suicide tourism."

And in February, SPUC chided the BBC for its decision to give sympathetic coverage to Ray Gosling, a BBC presenter who claims to have killed his terminally-ill ex-lover in a euthanasia bid. Gosling claims his former gay partner had AIDS and was in “terrible, terrible pain."
Gosling made the shocking claim on the episode of "Inside Out" that aired last night on the BBC. The program is dedicated to end-of-life issues.

"I killed someone once. . . . He was a young chap, he’d been my lover and he got AIDS," Gosling said in the broadcast, which showed him crying as he walked through a cometary.


Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.