Thursday 4 December 2008

Concern about government plans to clarify the suicide law

It has been reported that the government plans to use its Coroners and Justice bill to clarify the law on assisted suicide. SPUC is calling on the government to give an assurance that its plans are limited to its stated aims of preventing the online promotion of suicide and suicide methods. We are concerned that radical, so-called right-to-die MPs or peers - urged on by media coverage for assertions that some elderly people have a so-called duty to die - might seek to use the bill to weaken the legal protection of the right to life. We are therefore also calling upon the government and parliamentarians to block any attempts to use the Coroners and Justice bill to weaken in any way the Suicide Act 1961 and the existing legal prohibition on assisted suicide.