Thursday, March 19, 2009

UK Member of Parliament pushes to approve suicide tourism.

Patricia Hewitt a Labour MP in the UK is pushing to make suicide tourism a legally protected act for UK residents.

The Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK has responded to Hewitt's legislative push by commenting:
“The result would be a law that discouraged suicide with one hand and encouraged it with the other. That would be farcical as well as tragic”
The BBC article states:
Sarah Wootton, chief executive of the Dignity in Dying group, said: "Currently the Coroners and Justice Bill fails to distinguish between maliciously encouraging a suicide and compassionately assisting a terminally ill, mentally competent adult who wants to die.

"Clearly the law should protect vulnerable people from abuse, but at the same time it should not criminalise people who accompany those who make rational decisions to end their suffering."

But Peter Saunders, director of Care Not Killing, said: "The government is, commendably, trying to protect vulnerable people by tightening up the Suicide Act to outlaw internet websites that encourage suicide.

"And yet here we have the euthanasia lobby trying... to encourage suicide by removing any risk of prosecution for anyone assisting someone to go abroad for euthanasia or assisted suicide.

He added: "Make no mistake: this amendment is just a precursor to a more general euthanasia law."


The UK government is proposing to change the assisted suicide law by tightening it up to specifically give the government the power to outlaw suicide counseling via the internet. The euthanasia lobby is attempting to co-opt the good intentions of the UK government by creating an exception in the law for suicide tourism.

The article does suggest that:
The amendment, which may be debated but not voted on at this stage, is not thought to have much chance of success.

Link to the article in the BBC news:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7953570.stm

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