On 26 May, Baroness Meacher introduced her Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords. The Bill aims to change the law in England and Wales to allow terminally ill patients, with months left to live, the option of an assisted killing. It's the latest attempt by the pro-assisted suicide lobby to change the law, after numerous Bills in the past were voted down or failed to pass.
At CARE, we remain committed to the view that assisted suicide should be rejected and more investment given to quality end of life care.
At this crucial moment, we’re asking for your help to counter this growing threat.
It is vital that MPs hear from constituents like you who are opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia. To help counter the pressure being put on MPs to support a either a review of the existing law or for the law to be changed, we're asking you to stand with us and let your MP know why changing the law would be dangerous and unsafe, with tragic consequences for the vulnerable.
Please do the following two things:
- Please write to your MP, using your own words to both express your concerns that changing the law would be dangerous and unsafe, and to ask your MP to tell you their view on any change to the law. Please make use of the ‘Points to Make’ information below.
- Please let us know how your MP responds to your message. This will be hugely beneficial as we plan for any possible attempt to change the law in Parliament.
Points to make:
Below you'll find some suggested points to make. Please use your own words as this will carry far more weight.
- Let your MP know that the issue of assisted suicide is one of great concern to you personally. If possible, try to add context to the letter – for example, you might have experience of caring for a relative or close friend, or may yourself be ill or otherwise vulnerable and therefore particularly aware of or sensitive to the consequences of changing the law.
- Ask your MP to vote against any legislation which may be brought forward at Westminster.
- Ask your MP what their position is on assisted suicide; if it is true for you, you might like to say that your MP’s view may determine how you vote in future elections.
- Ask your MP to reject any move towards reviewing the current law because the law as it stands is working.
- Note that, once a state-sanctioned means of ending life becomes a legal option, pressure would inevitably fall on the most vulnerable in our society (including the elderly, disabled and frail) to end their lives to avoid being a burden on family, friends and caregivers. A so-called ‘right to die’ could quickly become a duty to die for many vulnerable people.
- Point out that there is no such thing as a safe assisted suicide law. In places where assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal, there's clear evidence of the law being incrementally extended, with rising numbers of deaths and changes to the eligibility criteria and safeguards.
- Say you believe the focus should be on improving investment in the hospice sector and palliative care (which tackles and alleviates many of the factors which might lead someone to consider ending their life prematurely) so everyone can access support when they need to.
- Say you are concerned that any change in the law would fundamentally alter the trust between doctors and their patients.