Thinking Anglicans

House of Lords debate on assisted suicide

As I mentioned last Saturday, the Church of England is opposed to the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill to be considered in the House of Lords on Friday. A lot of information is available here.

According to Anglican Mainstream:

In a surprise development regarding Lord Joffe’s Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, Lord Carlisle tabled an amendment yesterday ‘that the bill should now be read a second time this day six months hence’ . This, in effect, kicks the bill into the long grass and will kill it. The vote will take place after the debate on Friday. We expect it to occur sometime after 3pm.

The Care Not Killing petition has been signed by over 100,000 people so far.

This legislation is also heavily opposed by the membership of the Royal College of Physicians. See RCP cannot support legal change on assisted dying – survey results.

The bill is also opposed by many disabled people, see Not Dead Yet in the U.K. – Disability Coalition Opposes Assisted Suicide Bill. And also this.

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16 years ago

How about some links to those in favour of this excellent Bill, Simon?

Or are religionists and medics going to continue to tell us that we cannot have the right to exercise autonomy and choose a dignified death?

Simon Sarmiento
16 years ago

Sure, Mike, here is one such link:

But I think the answer to your question is Yes.

16 years ago

Oh, I think you are right – but I am confident that in time, change will come. In the meantime, euthanasia will continue to be practiced under cover and unregulated – far more dangerous – and at least Advanced Directives do have force of law now. One day, the Church will have to face the fact that advances in medical science has made its belief in the sanctity of life at all costs both out of date and unviable. Continued secularisation will, hopefully, make church opinion less important as time moves on – given that I have reached the view… Read more »

16 years ago

Yes, different people of good conscience and goodwill (or bad conscience and bad will) draw the personal life/death lines differently. Even JP II eventually instructed his aides not to return him to further hospital care, a de facto choice for welcoming his own imminent death. Did he have an ethical obligation to go back for life-prolonging procedures, no matter what? I guess we are still rocking n rolling from the great sea change in our basic paradigm for cause/effect. We formerly pledged right across the boards to believe in a God who was a personal, direct cause of everything humanity… Read more »

16 years ago

Dear drdanfee, I must say that, like abortion/contraception, the debate over euthanasia tends to be over-simplified by both ‘sides’. One thing that JPII wanted to show was that people of age and people of disability/terminal illness are still valuable. With a friend currently in the later stages of cancer, I can testify to the value and joy that can still be extracted from life with good medical care and an extremely caring husband and friends. At some point, however, there comes the point of “nothing more can be done” after which you just have to accept the dying process and… Read more »

15 years ago

Fellow Anglican here (St. James, Washington, DC) who has been following your assisted dying debate in the UK for a while now, as I was involved in defending and promoting Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law here in the US. The law has worked effectively, with proper safeguards, and is a model of compassion for people suffering from terminal illnes. The US Supreme Court has also said the feds cannot interfere. I thought your readers might be interested in this post entitled Who Can Claim Life as a Culture? People of faith embrace this law because of its careful construction… Read more »

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