Church of England rejects report of Euthanasia Lobby Group

The ‘Commission on Assisted Dying’ is a self-appointed group that excluded from its membership anyone with a known objection to assisted suicide. In contrast, the majority of commissioners, appointed personally by Lord Falconer, were already in favour of changing the law to legitimise assisted suicide. Lord Falconer has, himself, been a leading proponent for legitimising assisted suicide, for some years.

The commission undertook a quest to find effective safeguards that could be put in place to avoid abuse of any new law legitimising assisted suicide. Unsurprisingly, given the commission’s composition, it has claimed to have found such safeguards.

Unlike the commissioners, we are unconvinced that the commission has been successful in its quest. It has singularly failed to demonstrate that vulnerable people are not placed at greater risk under its proposals than is currently the case under present legislation. In spite of the findings of research that it commissioned, it has failed adequately to take into account the fact that in all jurisdictions where assisted suicide or euthanasia is permitted, there are breaches of safeguards as well as notable failures in monitoring and reporting.

The present law strikes an excellent balance between safeguarding hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people and treating with fairness and compassion those few people who, acting out of selfless motives, have assisted a loved one to die.

Put simply, the most effective safeguard against abuse is to leave the law as it is. What Lord Falconer has done is to argue that it is morally acceptable to put many vulnerable people at increased risk so that the aspirations of a small number of individuals, to control the time, place and means of their deaths, might be met. Such a calculus of risk is unnecessary and wholly unacceptable.

Statement on the report of the Commission for Assisted Dying.


One thought on “Church of England rejects report of Euthanasia Lobby Group

  1. Thanks for the blog. Very clear.

    This does seem to me to be a very unfortunate episode in our public conversation about this sensitive subject. I agree that the Commission was poorly (at least poorly) set up and that there is much to be said of the pragmatism of the present legal situation.

    But how can we as a society move on from the dialogue of the deaf on this issue, so that the compassionate and practical side of the Church’s approach can be more widely appreciated? Pratchett and cronies seem to be winning the PR battle and setting the terms of the debate. Why don’t we try to set the agenda on this?

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