Displaying items by tag: Euthanasia
Another assisted dying inquiry
Despite MPs having voted overwhelmingly to reject measures to legalise assisted dying in 2015, and in 2021, due to mass opposition from fellow Peers, activists are again pushing for the law to allow doctors to ‘help’ terminally ill patients end their lives. Ahead of the pending debate, MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee in Parliament are now conducting an inquiry, asking for the views of the general public into assisted dying/assisted suicide, to help shape their recommendations to Government, regardless of what, up to now, has been a clear and settled opposition to any such proposal. This debate will not go away until activists get what they want. Like water dripping relentlessly on a stone, after each defeat the campaigners return, with the same demands. The Bible says life is the gift of God for man made in His own image.
Christian parents appeal ruling to remove their son’s life support
Archie Battersbee’s parents, Hollie and Paul from Southend-On-Sea, have been fighting a legal battle since their son was found unconscious with a ligature around his neck in a tragic accident in April. On 15 July, Mr Justice Hayden ruled ‘it is in Archie's best interests for life-support to be removed as it is futile, compromises Archie’s dignity and serves only to protract his death rather than prolong his life.’ Archie's family appealed the decision. At the time of writing, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson are considering arguments at a Court of Appeal. Pray for Archies’ parents who said, ‘Planned death is another name for euthanasia, which is illegal in this country. It is for God to decide what should happen to Archie, including if, when and how he should die’.
Portugal thwarts moves to legalise euthanasia
For the second time in less than a year, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has blocked an attempt to make it legal for Portuguese doctors to kill their patients. The latest version of the Bill, approved by members of the National Assembly was judged to be too radical by the Roman Catholic president and returned to them unsigned. De Sousa said, If ‘fatal disease’ was no longer a prerequisite for ‘medically assisted death’, he considered the bill to be out of step with ‘the values of life and self-determination, in the context of Portuguese society’.
Assisted suicide legal within four years?
Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, the former international development secretary, has said his mind has changed on assisted dying and he now supports making it legal. He said he supports ‘very, very tight reform’, to allow people to end their own life when they are told they have six months to live. This would be for people mentally capable of making the decision. Also, he thinks many more MPs support the idea than ever before, and that the House of Commons will be mostly in favour of it before this parliament is up. Care Not Killing said, ‘It comes down to the sanctity of life and the belief that it is important to offer care and support to people rather than trying to end their lives. And I think that is a good view, not just for Christian MPs but actually for all MPs to bear in mind.’
He wanted to live, but was left to die
MSP had developed a gastric ulcer and other gastroenterological problems in 2019 and had a temporary stoma bag fitted. He told his parents and doctors that he ‘utterly loathed’ it and that he would rather die. As his condition developed he wrote an ‘advance directive’ in February 2020, refusing a permanent stoma or any medical treatment preventing him from living independently. His temporary stoma was removed on 14 May and he experienced sepsis. The only way to save his life was to fit a stoma bag immediately. He chose to have the bag inserted; he wanted to live. The doctors made an urgent out-of-hours application to Mr Justice Hayden to determine whether that life-saving treatment was or was not in his best interests. Even though he had changed his mind and his parents and doctors requested life, the judge ordered the withdrawal of life support.
Call to review euthanasia law
A cross-party group (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/30/assisted-dying-laws-are-in-need-of-review) of 20+ MPs want the law banning euthanasia to be reviewed. The current law punishes assisted suicide with up to fourteen years’ imprisonment. However, committing the offence may not automatically result in prosecution. Consideration must be made whether a prosecution is in the public interest. There is a lobby of campaigners and individuals who are determined to see some form of assisted suicide introduced in the UK. - Dignity in Dying. Nearly all pain can be alleviated to some degree through medicine and palliative care. When patients’ physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs are properly met, suicide requests are extremely rare. The UK is a world leader in the provision of palliative care, and we should build on this legacy. If we permit assisted suicide, the right to die will soon become a duty to die for some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Euthanasia in Guernsey?
Guernsey wants to introduce a law which will allow terminally ill people to end their life. The island is due to debate a ‘requête’ and vote (equivalent to a Westminster private member’s bill), which if approved could pave the way to assisted dying. The British Medical Association opposes assisted dying and supports current legal frameworks allowing compassionate and ethical care for the dying to die with dignity. Guernsey doctors must be registered with the General Medical Council in the UK in order to practise medicine on the island. The GMC states it is a criminal offence for anyone to encourage or assist a person to commit suicide. As doctors need to remain GMC members to work in Guernsey, it is difficult to know how they could do so if there was a unilateral change in legislation there.
Two vital court cases
Two different clients appeared in court on Wednesday, both supported by the Christian Legal Centre in seeking justice for the most vulnerable people in the UK. Nikki and Merv Kenward are challenging the recent decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to change the policy on the prosecution of medical staff who assist others in committing suicide. The Suicide Act 1961 makes it a criminal offence to assist or encourage the suicide of another person, but in 2014 the DPP amended the policy, making the prosecution of healthcare professionals in assisted suicide cases less likely. Nikki, who was once so paralysed she could only wink her right eye, and her husband campaign against euthanasia and assisted abortion. Also, pray for Aisling Hubert, who brought a private prosecution against two doctors who were filmed offering abortion on the basis of the baby's gender. But the Crown Prosecution Service took over the case and Aisling was told to pay legal costs of £47,000. For more details, see