Mission and Public Affairs Council rejects call to legalize euthanasia: The Church of England Newspaper, November 26, 2012 November 26, 2012Posted by geoconger in Abortion/Euthanasia/Biotechnology, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life, assisted suicide, Dignity in Dying, euthanasia, Mission and Public Affairs Council
The Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council has urged Parliament to reject a draft bill that would legalize euthanasia.
In a response published in 15 Nov 2012, the council said proposals put forward by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Choice at the End of Life would harm the social and moral fabric of England.
The proposals offered in APPG’s Safeguarding Choice: A Draft Assisted Dying Bill for Consultation, would “permit people actively to participate in bringing about the deaths of other individuals, something that, apart from cases of self defence, has not formed part of the legal landscape of the United Kingdom since the abolition of capital punishment,” the council said.
The APPG released its draft assisted dying bill on 3 July 2012 and was based upon the recommendations of the Commission on Assisted Dying chaired by the former Secretary of State for Justice, Lord Falconer QC.
On 30 June 2012 Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, the pro-euthanasia group which helped produce the draft bill, said: “The time has come to change the law and allow people the choice of an assisted death if they are competent and nearing the end of a terminal illness. A clear and present problem combined with overwhelming public support means that change is inevitable.”
The council did not agree, saying that legalizing “assisted suicide” undermined the value of human life and created a hierarchy of values that would determine whether a life was worth living based upon “age, illness, disability or economic or social status.”
Allowing people to participate in the deaths of others “would have far-reaching and damaging effects on the nature of our society; a price too great to pay for whatever perceived benefits they might arguably bring to a few.”
The council said that those seeking to end their lives “may be seen as being vulnerable, their position needs to be considered alongside the obvious vulnerability of more than 300,000 elderly people who suffer abuse each year in England and Wales, very many of them at the hands of their own family members, often for pecuniary reasons.”
The question must be asked, the council said was “might a change in the law place more vulnerable people at increased risk of neglect, marginalisation or abuse? Unless the answer can be a demonstrable and convincing ‘no’ it would be negligent in the extreme to contemplate such a change.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.