Friday, 20 November 2009

Congratulations to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales

Congratulations to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales who have delivered a powerful official response to the set of draft guidelines on assisted suicide drawn up by the Director of Public Prosecutions, describing them as "unacceptable in a civilised society".

Archbishop Vincent Nichols is reported as saying that the DPP's guidance risks "creating categories of people who are given less protection in the law and therefore runs the risk of seeing those categories of people as less worthy of the protection of the law" such as those who are disabled, or have a history of suicide attempts.

Professor David Jones, professor of bioethics at St Mary's University College, is reported as saying "I think that there is a danger that it could be perceived as a cloak for murder".

SPUC Pro-Life has produced a briefing to help you respond to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)'s consultation on guidelines for prosecuting cases of assisted suicide.

Following the House of Lords judgment in the Purdy case in July, the Director of Public Prosecutions issued his “interim prosecuting policy” for assisted suicide. It is very worrying indeed.

It lists factors that will count against the DPP bringing a prosecution - these include things like the victim being disabled, and that the victim spontaneously asked the suspect for help (this is quite ludicrous – as the victim will be dead by the time). This policy will be used to sanction help for suicides in England and Wales, as well as those who help people go abroad to kill themselves.

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