After the death of terminally ill cancer patient Brittany Maynard, euthanasia activists across the globe have been pushing bills to legalize assisted suicide. In Wales, they were defeated as just twelve members of the legislative body supported it.
Twenty-one Assembly Members voted against it and a further 20 abstained on a motion tabled by Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas on Wednesday afternoon.
South Wales East Conservative AM William Graham firmly opposed the principle of assisted dying, saying: “A large number of people who are terminally ill have found richness and purpose in their lives, despite pain and hardship. The vast majority of doctors are deeply opposed to changing the law.
“Doctors recognise that assisted suicide is almost always unnecessary. Good palliative care restores quality of life without needing to erase the life itself.
“There’s a real threat to autonomy. Killing people is cheaper than providing palliative or long-term care, and health care resources will always be constrained. This must mean that health care teams and society in general will be under pressure to encourage patients to choose suicide.”
Alex Schadenberg, the head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, was pleased by the vote to defeat the bill.
“Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick and Not Dead Yet – UK for their part in defeating the assisted suicide vote today. A vote on whether to propose a bill to legalize assisted suicide was defeated in the Wales National Assembly today by a vote of 21 to 12,” he said.
Schadenberg added: “Dr Fitzpatrick, who has lived most of his professional life in Wales, communicated with members of the National Assembly.
Dr Fitzpatrick is the Director of EPC – International and the spokesperson for the disability rights group, Not Dead Yet – UK.”