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Church of England will oppose assisted suicide

Assisted Suicide
24 June 2022

The most senior lay official in the Church of England has said the denomination is "adamant in its rejection" of calls to legalise physician assisted suicide.

William Nye, secretary-general of the General Synod, said that the Church opposed assisted suicide because it could lead to people being pressurised into ending their lives.

He added that “a change in the law would undermine the intrinsic value of every human life”, undermining historic moral and ethical standards in medicine. Nye said:

“Opinion polls are not a valid means to test ethical arguments. Opinion polls not only rely upon questions which lack nuance or context, they also invite people to imagine themselves into a situation in which most people have no relevant experience.”

“For these reasons — and because no new or better arguments to the contrary have been advanced by any of the lobbyists for assisted suicide — the Church of England has been adamant in its rejection of a change in the current law in parliament, in the media and among medical professions.”

The General Synod is to debate the issue of assisted suicide next month. Dr Simon Eyre, a lay member, has put forward a private member’s motion calling on the church to confirm its opposition to a change in the law.

The motion suggests that the government should instead increase funding of palliative care by £313 million a year to keep hospices going.

A member's bill by Baroness Meacher failed to proceed beyond the committee stage in the House of Lords before the parliamentary year ended in April.

CARE followed the legislation closely, and supported Peers to defend the cause of the vulnerable. Learn more about our work opposing assisted suicide here: CARE for Assisted Suicide

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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.

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