Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lord Joffe to introduce assisted suicide bill

Lord Joffe will once again attempt to legalize assisted suicide in the UK by resurrecting his Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill that was blocked by the House of Lords two years ago.

This time he plans to use the story of Debbie Purdy to gain support for his cause.

Joffe told The Times that he decided to take action so that family and friends who wished to help to end their loved ones' suffering would know whether or not they were committing an offence.

Joffe also said:
"First we want to get a debate going before we introduce the Bill, so the issue has been explored in the public arena. The introduction of the Bill will be sooner rather than later. It will be a question of when time in the parliamentary calendar can be found to consider a Private Member's Bill."

"The purpose of a Bill is for a change in the law to prevent unnecessary suffering. But we would only be looking at people who are terminally ill."

It is interesting that Joffe is using the Purdy case to promote his efforts to legalize assisted suicide. Purdy is not terminally ill and with good care, she can remain comfortable and live with dignity.

Alison Davis from No Less Human stated that:
If Lord Joffe’s Bill had been law then, I would have qualified for “assisted dying” and I have no doubt whatsoever that I would have requested it.

Leaders of the disability rights movement, such as Davis, recognize that assisted suicide directly threatens their lives due to social attitudes and subtle pressures that exist within society.

Link to article about Alison Davis

Lord Joffe is also wanting to appear to be a moderate within the confines of the euthanasia lobby. Joffe's comments at the World Federation of Right to Die Societies Conference in Toronto in 2006 would make you believe that his Bill would be a first measure to legalize assisted suicide. The wording of the previous Bill was based on what the euthanasia lobby believed would be considered acceptable at that time in history.

Link to the article from the Times online:

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