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17 September 2015

Assisted suicide overwhelmingly defeated

Assisted suicide overwhelmingly defeated

Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill was overwhelmingly defeated last Friday. MPs voted three to one to throw out this bill which is based largely on Lord Falconer’s previous bill and proposed to allow physician assisted suicide for people with terminal illness and deemed to have six months or less to live.

The Evangelical Alliance welcomes this result as it ensures vulnerable people remain protected rather than put under pressure to end their life for fear of being a burden.

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: “Palliative care can provide properly for the needs of people and evidence shows that the number of people wanting assisted suicide drops when they receive good palliative care.

“We have a rich tradition of quality care for the dying and should continue promoting and investing in palliative care. We want to see a society that protects and supports people. Legalising assisted suicide would not do this.”

The Alliance believes the present law works well and doesn’t need changing.

“It acts as a powerful deterrent to the exploitation of vulnerable people, while also giving discretion to prosecutors and judges in challenging cases,” continued Steve Clifford. 

Along with Care Not Killing and member organisation CARE, the Alliance has been campaigning to protect the vulnerable who would be effected by any change in the law, along with the majority of medical professionals, disability charities and other faith groups. You can read a recent letter to the Observer about assisted suicide which Steve Clifford and Yemi Adedeji signed along with other church leaders.

We are so grateful to all of you who contacted your MPs about this important issue. It sent a clear message to parliament that we want to see the inherent dignity and value of each person upheld. Thank you for doing your part.

You can read more about this issue in our latest idea magazine.

   Photo credit: Jodi Marr