CARE: Christian Action, Research and Education

For what you believe
Open menu Close menu
Sharon mccutcheon Gj65 EQ7 Giw Q unsplash
Assisted Suicide

MPs urged to champion care and not be naïve about the threat of assisted suicide

11 September 2020

On Thursday evening, MPs from across the UK were warned of the danger of changing the law on assisted suicide, and the message it sends to those who are vulnerable in our society.

Since the previous attempt to legalise assisted suicide in England and Wales was comprehensively defeated in Parliament in 2015, pro-assisted suicide campaigners have continued to argue for the law to change.

Fiona Bruce MP (who Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group) welcomed two eminent speakers to a webinar for MPs to consider the claims of pro-assisted suicide campaigners and think critically about whether assisted suicide can ever be a safe path for the UK to follow.

Professor Theo Boer, a Dutch professor of ethics who has served on a Regional Review Committee on Euthanasia in the Netherlands, spoke powerfully, warning MPs that supply inevitably generates demand. He spoke in stark terms about the changes there have been to the law in the Netherlands over time, with patients now being euthanised as a result of dementia or psychiatric conditions.

Tellingly, Professor Boer warned that in the Netherlands the conversation has shifted from a narrative of wanting to prevent people from suffering a terrible death, to preventing people from having a terrible life. When death is presented as the solution to any form of apparently unbearable suffering, it profoundly warps and harms society and particularly the vulnerable.

Speaking from the US, lawyer and author Wesley Smith urged MPs to resist efforts to stymie debate in the UK:“euphemisms distort and deflect from the brutality of what is being spoken about – the deliberate ending of life, where someone’s desire to die is validated by a doctor who provides the means to do it”.

Addressing the challenge of engaging in debate where the media and popular culture seem skewed in favour of assisted suicide, he implored MPs to challenge the narrative that there is no means of dignified death beyond assisted suicide. Furthermore, Mr Smith warned that when assisted suicide is legalised, the door is opened to the notion that some people are expendable; even worse, having opened the door, these people are then abandoned and channelled down a pathway towards assisted suicide.

Mr Smith concluded by noting that the important debate was not over who should be able to access assisted suicide, but rather how we as societies should respond to and value people who have suicidal ideation. Assisted suicide is not, remarked Mr Smith, compassion; it is abandonment and must be resisted at every opportunity.

Euth

Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

Find out more about the cause

Sign up for Impact Direct, and email publications

By signing up stay in touch you agree to receive emails from CARE. You can change your mailing preferences at any time either by getting in touch with CARE, or through the links on any of our emails.

Recent news

Reproductive health supplies coalition F2b Tuiboieg unsplash

'DIY' at-home abortion challenge appealed to Supreme Court

The legal challenge to the Government's decision to allow at-home DIY abortions during the Coronavirus pandemic will now be appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

Keep reading
Carl raw 584973 unsplash 2

Fresh Calls For New Gambling Laws In Northern Ireland As Inquiry Is Launched

A new Stormont inquiry has been launched by the All-Party Group on Reducing Harm Related to Gambling in Northern Ireland.

Keep reading
1993 care for life 3

Abortion Clinic Censorship Bill Fails to Pass But Govt Reportedly Still Considering ‘Buffer Zones’

An extreme bill to ban pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics failed to pass in the House of Commons at second reading in a welcome victory for free speech.

Keep reading