A blog launched on the 41st anniversary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the first pro-life organisation in the world, established on 11 January 1967. I wrote this blog in my role as SPUC's chief executive, commenting on pro-life news, reflecting on pro-life issues and promoting SPUC's work. I retired from my post on 31st August 2021 and will therefore be adding no further posts.
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Suicide guidelines could undermine the law
Yesterday, I highlighted how the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) seems to be on a PR bandwagon that's preparing the public for his guidelines on assisted suicide which are due out tomorrow. It looks like he will say that the authorities will only take action against those who help friends or relatives kill themselves if there's evidence of coercion or ulterior motives.
Paul Tully of SPUC has pointed out how parliament recently voted against letting people take others abroad for suicide, adding: "Now the legal authorities are forcing a weakening of the law against helping people to kill themselves. There is a democratic deficit in their action." He said that the DPP's failure to take action on high-profile assisted suicides had weakened the law. The guidelines could undermine disabled people.
The DPP is issuing these guidelines because of a House of Lords ruling. Lord Phillips (right), now president of the new supreme court, expressed sympathy for people who wanted to kill themselves.
The prime minister's spokesman restated Mr Brown's opposition to assisted suicide but would not be drawn on the DPP's guidelines. Mr Cameron, the leader of the opposition, has called moves to tolerate assisted suicide "dangerous for society". We must hold these politicians to account. We must also build a massive public campaign against any guidelines which allow assisted suicide in practice. The present law, which unambiguously forbids helping someone to kill themselves, should not be undermined.