Lobby your MP: Oppose assisted suicide

BBC NewsOnline reports that former health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, is urging MPs to change the law to allow people to take terminally ill patients abroad for assisted suicide.

Patricia Hewitt has tabled an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill which would allow families of gravely ill people to help them commit suicide abroad without fear of punishment. In reality, in several recent cases, the relatives have been not been prosecuted, but legal experts have warned that retaining the prohibition against assisting suicide is important to safeguard vulnerable people from being coerced into assisted suicide.

The pro-euthanasia amendment is expected to be debated on Monday 23rd or Tuesday 24th March. Although this pro-euthanasia amendment is expected to be unsuccessful, the pro-euthanasia lobby is pushing aggressively for a change in the law. Patricia Hewitt is reported to have said openly that this is the first step in a broader campaign to permit assisted death in Britain for the first time.

It is vital that everyone who opposes euthanasia make their voice heard by contacting their MP and asking them to sign EDM 589.  This can be done either by ringing the MP (House of Commons 020 7219 3000) or by writing  – it’s a simple click away.

The full text of the EDM opposing euthanasia is below. You can see if your MP has signed this EDM by clicking here.

That this House welcomes the provisions in the Coroners and Justice Bill to bring the Suicide Act 1961 up to date by making clear that its provisions on assisting or encouraging suicide apply to the internet; notes the declared wishes of pro-euthanasia campaigners to see further amendments to the 1961 Act to permit assistance with suicide for vulnerable groups of people, including the terminally ill; observes that the Act combines a categoric prohibition of assisted suicide to deter abuse with an ability to assess the circumstances of apparent breaches of the law and, where appropriate, to deal compassionately with them; believes therefore that the Act, especially if amended as the Government proposes in the Coroners and Justice Bill, is working as it should; and calls on the House to reaffirm its support for a law which protects vulnerable people from abuse.