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:
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.