Public urged to oppose euthanasia bill
A campaign has been initiated by groups opposed to Lord Joffeís Patient Assisted Suicide Bill which will be debated in the House of Lords next month.
The Bill which would make euthanasia legal in the UK and has its first debate on 6th June, would make an ìact of violenceî routine and legal say opponents.
The campaign follows the statement at Westminster last week by Baroness Trumpington, a former Health Minister, who said that she had not received a single letter opposing euthanasia but had been inundated with letters supporting it.
A huge letter writing campaign is apperantly been co-ordinated by those lobbying for change in the law on assisted suicide.
Those lobbying against the new bill are suggesting that more resources for geriatric care and hospices is what is really needed. They warn that if the bill is passed care homes and hospices that have traditionally overseen the care of the elderly, the sick or the dying will instead ìbecome charnel housesî.
Rowan Williams recently called euthanasia ìan act of violence. The Archbishop said it would be "an attempt to take possession of the future."
"Even if euthanasia were legalised in some form and pragmatic anxieties overcome, it could not be a course of action endorsed by Christiansî he said.
Anti-euthansia campaigners say that the issue for Christians is not simply about whether euthanasia should be endorsed, it is about whether something so fundamental should occur with barely a murmur of protest.
Opponents of the bill are therefore urging the public to write to Members of the House of Lords, and Members of Parliament voicing their concerns.
Last week a poll of British doctors, suggested that 61% do not want euthanasia legalised ñ with a further 13% undecided. 76% also aid that if euthanasia were legalised they would refuse to perform it. 59% of the doctors said that the British Medical Association (BMA) were right to resist moves to legalise euthanasia.
The BMAís opposition to the Joffe Bill has been joined by the Disability Rights Commission ñ who say it will endanger disabled people ñ and also by the charity Help the Aged.
The Hospice Movement has also warned of the dire consequences. Dr.Nigel Sykes, Medical director of St.Christopherís Hospice in London says the Joffe Bill is ìdangerousî and would ìprogress to mental illness."
"Euthanasia without express request will inevitably follow."
"Patients will be made to think that euthanasia is the decent thing to doî he said.