Bishop of Worcester speaks against legalisation of assisted suicide in UK

Mar 10, 2017 by

from Church in Parliament:

On Monday 6th March 2017, Baroness Jay of Paddington tabled a debate in the House of Lords, asking the Government “what assessment they have made of recent legislation on assisted dying in North America; and whether those laws provide an appropriate basis for legislation in England and Wales.” The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, spoke in the debate.

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I oppose assisted dying not on religious, but on human grounds. Surely the only place in North America where legislation has been in place long enough to draw any reasonable conclusions is Oregon. The claim of those pressing for assisted suicide here, that there have been no documented cases of abuse or coercion in the two decades since it was passed, is highly contentious. The US Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund—a leading national civil rights law and policy centre—has documented cases of complication and abuse arising from the law in Oregon and neighbouring Washington state. Writing in the Wall St Journal, William Toffler, a doctor in Oregon, described how the law there has had adverse consequences for the doctor-patient relationship, and how a developing climate of “secrecy” and “fear” has worsened the situation of the most vulnerable.

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