Tuesday, 27 October 2009

House of Lords' debate

Thank you to those of you who wrote to a member of the House of Lords about the introduction of an amendment last night to legalise assisted suicide. I'm glad to say it was withdrawn. As the Christian Concern for our Nation reports: "The amendment was opposed by a majority of those Lords who spoke in the debate.

"In giving concluding remarks, Lord Bach said that their ‘firm view remains that the Coroners and Justice Bill has never been, and is not now the appropriate vehicle for change in the criminal law as it applies to assisted suicide.’

"Baroness Campbell of Surbiton expressed her concerns with the amendment. She said:
‘If we support this amendment today, we say that terminally ill and severely disabled people do not deserve the very best forum and process to deliberate their life and death choices. The amendment has profound, far-reaching consequences, which strike fear — I am afraid it is fear — and apprehension into the lives of those who struggle to make society recognise that their lives have value and should be supported.’

"Lord Tebbit said that the law provides that we, as individuals, have no right to take life except in self-defence.
‘It provides that the state, in acting for society, may take life or license the taking of life only in defence of the state or society itself. In short, the right or obligation to take life, or to license the taking of life, is strictly fettered and confined, and I believe that it should be so,’ he said. ‘Many of those who regard humankind as no more than elevated animals are no less wary of fraying and fretting at those constraints than those who believe that life is God-granted and that the taking of life is to infringe on divine territory."

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