Petition to the BMA: Say NO to Assisted Suicide

The BMJ recently issued a call to government for doctor assisted dying to be legalised to reflect the view of what they call ‘the great majority of the public’ https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/top-docs-call-assisted-dying-11989162 Specifically, they claimed that 80% of the public support a change in the law, and that it works ‘well’ in other parts of the world where it has already been legalised. This is not true. Reported increasing rates of involuntary euthanasia in countries like Belgium and the Netherlands, with the extension to minor and non life threatening conditions, plus fear on the part of the elderly and vulnerable of going into hospital, provide strong evidence against such claims.

The BMJ followed up their call with a poll on their website, asking whether doctor assisted dying should or should not be legalised.   Out of a total of 22,675 votes cast, they reported that 13,385 (59%) voted Yes, and 9,290 (41%) voted No. This falls far short of the 80% support they claimed, but even so it would appear the response might have been manipulated to produce the ‘desired’ result.   One person who tried to vote reported, I did respond to the poll but it told me my captcha code was wrong (although it wasn’t)… when I went to my email I had a message that they had received my response. However, they said it would only be published if it was deemed acceptable …

Such partisan and biased campaigning, relying on grossly inflated and unproven claims, is unacceptable. Despite the BMJ’s assertion, overall doctors are said to be 2:1 against the legalisation of assisted suicide.

There are already numerous cases of patients being constructively euthanized by refusal to resuscitate, to give treatment – including hydration – and/or the administration of life-shortening drugs. The Liverpool Care Pathway, supposedly designed to provide best treatment for those facing death, was notorious for this, and was rightly closed down for abuse.

If doctor assisted dying becomes legal for those with six months to live, as called for by the BMJ, how long before the practice is extended? We all know how difficult it is to predict life expectancy, but how long before doctors simply decide that a patient’s life, on their assessment, isn’t worth preserving? Or how long before medical professionals decide the cost of treatment for the elderly or those with disability is simply too high for an already over-strained health service?

We have already legalised slaughter of the innocent at the beginning of life, with the result that since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act this country has seen the termination of over 8,000,000 unborn, but otherwise healthy, children, for what are euphemistically termed ‘social reasons’.

Are we seriously now to extend this mindset to the elderly, vulnerable, and disabled? And, if so, how soon will it be before personal decision is entirely discounted, with doctors and health officials playing God and deciding who does and doesn’t merit saving?

Whatever is maintained, these proposals are not driven by compassion, but by the desire for self-determination and control. They are infinitely dangerous, because once the gates are opened, there will be no way of controlling the flood. To borrow from and adapt Churchill, you cannot put your head in the mouth of a tiger … and tell it not to close its jaws.

No doctor should be burdened by having to make this intolerable decision.   No doctor should be forced to take life. Indeed, if the Hippocratic Oath is to continue to have any substance, it should protect both doctor and patient. The public should be able to trust that medical staff have their best interests at heart and will do nothing to override their wishes.

We call on the BMA to reaffirm its stand against physician assisted suicide, and to renew its commitment to the strengthening of palliative care for the terminally ill. We further call for censure of the BMJ for its partisan campaigning.

 

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Say NO to Assisted Suicide

VfJUK received an email yesterday directing our attention to a poll on Assisted Dying currently being run by the BMJ (British Medical Journal).  It may be remembered that the BMJ has recently issued a call to government for assisted dying to be legalised to reflect the view of what they call ‘the great majority of the public’ (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/top-docs-call-assisted-dying-11989162).

This current drive is both worrying and misleading.  Despite the claims of the BMJ, overall doctors are said to be 2:1 against legalisation of assisted suicide – yet despite decisive rejection of all proposals in Parliament so far, the issue keeps coming back. The conclusion is inescapable – the pro-death lobby won’t stop till they get what they want!

When a society seeks to legalise death on the grounds of so-called compassion, we should be seriously worried.  There are already numerous cases of elderly and vulnerable patients being constructively euthanized by refusal to resuscitate, to give treatment – including hydration – and/or the administration of life-shortening drugs.  The Liverpool Care Pathway, supposedly designed to provide best treatment for those facing death, was notorious for this, and was rightly closed down for abuse.

If therefore assisted dying becomes legal for those with ‘six months to live’, which is the time period put forward by activists, how long before the practice is extended?  We all know how difficult it is to predict how long a patient has left, but how long before doctors decide that a patient’s life, on their assessment, isn’t worth preserving anyway?  Or how long before they decide the cost of treatment for the elderly or those with disability is simply too high for an already over-strained health service?

We have already legalised slaughter of the innocent at the beginning of life, with the result that since the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act, this country has seen the termination of over 8,000,000 unborn, but otherwise healthy, children, for what are euphemistically termed ‘social reasons’.

Are we seriously now to extend this mindset to the elderly, vulnerable, and disabled?  And, if so, how soon will it be before personal decision is entirely discounted, with doctors and health officials playing God and deciding who does and doesn’t merit saving?  After all, we have already witnessed this shift in Belgium and the Netherlands, where involuntary euthanasia is now legally allowed and extends far beyond terminal illness, to include treatable conditions such as depression, and even euthanasia of children.

Whatever is maintained, these proposals are not driven by compassion, but by the desire for self-determination and control.  But they are infinitely dangerous, because once the gates are opened, there will be no way of controlling the flood.  To borrow from and adapt Churchill, you cannot put your head in the mouth of a tiger … and tell it not to close its jaws.

So please, say NO now.  And keep saying NO every time this pernicious attack on life returns.

To find the the poll click here:
http://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k593
To vote, scroll down the vote panel on the right.

Yes, there are cases of extreme suffering that are heartbreaking to witness.   And all of us, if we are honest, pray such suffering never happens to either ourselves or to our loved ones.  But there are also cases of remarkable resilience and courage – and even healing when all hope has gone. 

The love of God never wavers, and there is always hope.

Our duty then is to love, care, respect, and support each other through the difficult times, leaving the ultimate decision to God.

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Protect Christian belief in schools. Stop Secularist/LGBT activists in Ofsted using their powers to drive Christian faith and practice out of education.

In a recent speech to the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/amanda-spielmans-speech-at-the-church-of-england-foundation-for-education-leadership), Head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman claimed that extremists are using religion actively to pervert education and indoctrinate young people. Singling out for particular mention the Christian Institute (which she wrongly labelled Anglican), she condemned ideological indoctrination by Christian extremists, and said that schools have a responsibility to “tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law.”

We would remind Ofsted that under the Equality Act 2010, religion is listed as a protected characteristic, alongside such things as sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, age, race etc. Ms Spielman’s apparent prioritization of LGBT rights over other protected characteristics not only denies this but, by extension, seeks to alter or oppose the law.

School leaders, she says, must promote ‘muscular liberalism’. “Freedom of belief in the private sphere is paramount, but in our schools it is our responsibility to tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law.” To put it another way, Ms Spielman apparently thinks that expression of religious belief not endorsing ‘fundamental’ British values – here defined as promoting same sex relationships, same sex marriage and gender reassignment – should be prohibited outside the home.

This it outrageous and clear denial of the fundamental Human Rights enshrined in British law since before Magna Carta: namely, the rights to freedom of belief, conscience, speech, and of parents to have their children educated in line with their own religious and/or philosophical beliefs.

While we applaud measures to tackle people trying deliberately to undermine British values and culture, Christianity is the foundation of our culture, laws, and society and in no way poses a threat. It does not lie with Amanda Spielman or Ofsted to make law.

Children must be taught to respect both others and themselves, but Christian schools must not be compelled by Ofsted to teach or endorse sexual behaviours prohibited in the Bible.

We call for Ms Spielman’s immediate censure and removal from office. We further call for stricter governance of Ofsted: that it be made to conform strictly with the law, and to uphold religion as of equal value with other protected characteristics as laid down in the Equality Act 2010.

Protect Christian belief in schools. Stop Ofsted abusing their powers.

 

 

 

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Call to government to prohibit all medical treatment for gender reassignment below age of 18

With increasing reports of people seeking reversal of gender reassignment surgery (see recent report in The Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gender-reversal-surgery-demand-rise-assignment-men-women-trans-a7980416.html ; see also The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/25/bath-spa-university-transgender-gender-reassignment-reversal-research), we call for medical intervention to change gender, whether surgical or by the administration of sex changing hormones, to be banned below the age of 18.

Increasingly in schools, children as young as four are being taught that gender is a matter of choice and not biology. The inevitable result is that increasing numbers of children are seeing themselves as having been born in ‘the wrong body’ and are demanding treatment. Many subsequently regret it, as seen in the recent case of a boy who embarked on gender reassignment and, as consequence, developed breasts, but who then decided he wanted to grow up as a man. Although still in possession of his penis, he had pronounced female characteristics, which could only be corrected by surgery (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/12-year-old-boy-trans-female-change-mind-years-later-patrick-mitchell-australia-oestrogen-hormones-a7933741.html).

While some children may genuinely suffer from gender dysphoria – defined as strong and persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with their birth sex – it is medically well documented that expression of such feelings are frequently both normal and transient, and without intervention naturally dissipate over time. Where more persistent, they are more often expression, rather than cause, of an underlying and primary problem, which may well be exacerbated by invasive gender reassignment treatment.

As a society we seek to protect children and young people from harm. We attempt to protect them from the consequences of decisions they are too young to make for themselves. For example, young children are not allowed to cross the road on their own; children cannot legally consent to sex below the age of 16; the sale of alcohol is banned to children under the age of 18; children under the age of 16 are not allowed to work full time, etc.

Yet, by teaching children that gender is a matter of choice and not sex, we allow and even encourage them to make life-changing decisions that they may in time bitterly regret.

If a young person cannot legally buy a glass of beer below the age of 18, how is it we encourage them to make life changing decisions involving the surgical mutilation of an otherwise healthy body, lifelong infertility, and with a life time spent on sex change hormones carrying well documented health risks and shortening life expectancy?

This cannot be right. While a child is free to choose to adopt the style of dress and manners of the opposite gender, for their future wellbeing, we call on Government to make illegal the offer of irreversible and life changing medical treatments for all children under the age of 18.

Please sign our petition here: http://www.citizengo.org/en/signit/147194/view

 

 

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What if…?

What if Jesus had never been born?   What if Mary, at age 14, had discovered she was pregnant, gone to the school nurse, and had an abortion without her parents even knowing?

What would have been Mary’s future? What would have been the future for the world?

Okay, let’s forget the first scenario because abortion wasn’t widely available in the first century – certainly not for a good Jewish girl. But let’s suppose Herod had been successful in his slaughter of Bethlehem’s innocent, and managed to cleanse what he clearly saw as a potential embarrassment to his rule. So Jesus would have been born…. but murdered before the age of two, with the result that God’s plan to save and redeem mankind would literally have died at birth.   After which, following the trauma, Mary would maybe have had a nervous breakdown – no doubt to the extreme consternation of Joseph, who, let’s face it, had been having doubts about her ever since first finding she was pregnant. Eventually, however, and in the absence of any alternative, the two would maybe have accepted both the reality of foreign occupation, and of each other.   So Joseph might have joined the local resistance cell and, when not making tables, become a freedom fighter. And Mary – quickly finding herself once again pregnant – would have knuckled down to the role of wife and mother, and started cooking chicken soup.

But what about the future of the world?

Well, in the short term, Herod’s reign would no doubt have been triumphantly glorious, as he strengthened Israel’s political and trade links with Rome, and quashed all internal opposition, establishing himself as supreme ruler and head of the new dynasty. The Roman Eagle would in turn have won permanent position over the entrance to the Temple, and worship of Caesar would have been superimposed over worship of Yahweh, thus bringing Israel into line with the rest of the empire. But, perhaps most important of all, the Jewish and Gentile followers of the prematurely slaughtered Messiah would never have come into existence, so that by definition the early church would also never have existed.

Which would have meant that, further down the line, the values that underpinned Magna Carta and in turn became the foundation for Western Democracy would also never have existed. Cruelty, abuse, slavery and exploitation of our fellow human beings would doubtless not just have continued unchecked, but would have flourished – as indeed attested by the 46 million plus men, women and children still enslaved in Islamic countries today.   All of which serves to illustrate that, although Secularists like to argue that goodness is innate to the human condition and exists independent of Christianity, the evidence would suggest the opposite, and that men and women without Christ are a pretty hopeless bunch of self-interested opportunists.

Today, the same evil that tempted Eve and then tried to destroy the baby born in a stable is once again fighting to impose control. It cannot triumph, of course, because the decisive battle to break the stranglehold imposed by the devil following Adam and Eve’s fall was fought and won at the Cross.   By His death, Christ shattered Satan’s hold and gave us opportunity to become once again sons and daughters of God- to become fully what God had made and intended us to be. But though the victory was won then, redemption was not automatic – rather it is something we have actively to choose.   So evil was not driven entirely from the world until, Jesus said, every man, woman and child on the planet had been given chance to hear and respond to the message of God’s saving love.   And only then, when everyone had been given opportunity to enter into life, would God pass final judgment on Satan and his hordes and, after the last battle – Armageddon – cast them into the Pit.

So today we are in that interim period when the rebel forces are battling for survival, and Satan, the father of lies and their commander in chief, is trying to wrest back control from God. His weapons are still the same as ever: lies and temptations. You are yourselves god, he whispers; you can choose whatever you want, indulging your every desire; all that matters is ‘knowledge’.   Obedience to God isn’t life, but servile bondage to a joyless and judgmental tyrant!

Absolute freedom! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?   We can both design our own cake and eat it. Everybody happy.

Only the trouble is … we’re not.   In this brave new world we have created, with its rebranded morality and exultation of consumerism, men and women are left increasingly isolated, lonely, and damaged.   Unrestrained sexual indulgence and promiscuity have led not to happiness, but to epidemic level rates of STIs, many of which cannot be cured.   While the serialised relationships and absence of commitment, that inevitably result, have led to vast swathes of society left lonely and alone. And children, first casualties of adult over-indulgence and denied the stability of loving parents, are in turn left emotionally crippled and maimed.

The truth – the elephant in the room that secular and LGBTQ acolytes of the ‘new’ religion are doing their best to deny – is that the great god ‘self’ gives in return only despair and death.

We stand at the beginning of a new year.   We wish you every happiness and blessing for 2018 – but let us never forget that we are in a spiritual battle for the soul of the world, and that the fate of many – in both this world and the next – hangs in balance.

Two thousand years ago Jesus paid the ultimate price to set us free. Despite the devil’s every effort to prevent God’s plan for our redemption, the small, defenceless baby born in a stable survived and, in time, by his death on the Cross and resurrection, opened up the way and restored us to ‘One-ness’ with God.

The light shines in darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

To us now is entrusted Christ’s message of salvation. Let us not betray His sacrifice.   Whatever the months ahead may hold, let us face them with courage, and an unswerving commitment to righteousness and truth.

 

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