Monday, 25 October 2010

Money more valuable than human life, says Baroness Warnock

Daniel Blackman, a researcher for SPUC, has sent me a report on last Tuesday evening's Intelligence Squared debate on assisted suicide. You can read Dan's full report on the SPUC website, but below are a few details.

The motion of the debate was ‘Assisted Suicide should be legalised: the terminally ill should have the legal right to be helped to end their lives.’ Speaking for the motion was:
  • Emily Jackson, professor of law at the London School of Economics
  • Baroness Mary Warnock, moral philosopher, and
  • Debbie Purdy, the assisted suicide campaigner with multiple sclerosis.
Speaking against the motion was:
  • Lord Alex Carlile QC, barrister
  • Patrick Stone, Macmillan Reader in Palliative Medicine, St George’s University of London; and
  • Lord Richard Harries, former Anglican bishop of Oxford.
The debate was chaired by Sue Lawley, journalist and broadcaster.

The debate is available for free on itunes, which means readers can also listen to the debate for themselves.

Two votes were taken, one before and one after the debate. The results were:

  • for: 408
  • against: 110
  • don’t know: 117
  • for: 406
  • against: 208
  • don’t Know: 34
So a large number of the 'don’t knows' decided to vote against against assisted suicide.

Dan also reports that Baroness Warnock said that, that unlike gold and platinum, life does not have value in itself. Her claim reminds me of Psalm 134:15-17, which reads:
"The idols of the Gentiles are silver and gold, the works of men's hands. They have a mouth, but they speak not: they have eyes, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not: neither is there any breath in their mouths."
I found Baroness Warnock's claim - which says effectively that money is more valuable than life - truly frightening. This is the same materialistic attitude that resulted in the lives of countless millions of slaves being sacrificed in the name of profit.

Comments on this blog? Email them to
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Join SPUC's Facebook group
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy