On Friday 11th September 2015 the House of Commons will be debating and voting on a Private Member’s Bill to legalise assisted suicide. It would ‘enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life’. This means it would licence doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients to enable them to commit suicide.
As a matter of urgency, Cardinal Vincent and the bishops of England and Wales are asking Catholics to write to their MP to oppose this dangerous bill.
Archbishop Peter Smith, chair of the Department of Christian responsibility and Citizenship, released the following statement on 7 July:
Very many people of all faiths and none will be concerned about a Bill to legalise Assisted Suicide in England and Wales which will be debated in the House of Commons on 11th September 2015. This private members Bill, introduced by Rob Marris MP, will have a free vote and it is important that people make their views known to their own MP ahead of this extremely important debate. Information about the issues, together with resources and guidance will be circulated to all parishes in the next week or two.
There are excellent resources:
- on the Bishops Conference website
- and the website of the Anscombe Bioethics centre
I strongly urge all Catholics to contact their own MP as soon as possible to express their concern about the dangerous impact which such a Bill would have on the most vulnerable people. MPs do listen to their own constituents. What is needed is more and better palliative care, not assistance with suicide.
With this in mind, Catholics are asked to write to their MP as soon as possible as Parliament will begin its summer recess on 22 July.
For a model letter to your MP which can be downloaded, filled out and sent, please click HERE.
For a Q&A on the Assisted Suicide Bill, please click HERE.