Legitimizing Assisted Suicide Not Acceptable – Catholic Bishops

by Gopalan on  November 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
 Legitimizing Assisted Suicide Not Acceptable – Catholic Bishops
The Roman Catholic bishops of the UK have come down strongly on a move to legalize assisted suicide in certain cases.

Relatives who assist suicide can escape prosecution under certain conditions, the UK government has can escape prosecution, UK government has ruled.

Those who do not maliciously encourage others to die but assist only a ''clear settled and informed wish'' to commit suicide, will be spared, as per new guidelines issued.

Church leaders condemned aspects of the draft guidelines, drawn up by Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, as "unacceptable in a civilised society".

They believe that they will leave sick, disabled or vulnerable people with less protection than the rest of the population and could even be seen as providing a "cloak for murder".

The Bishops Conference of England and Wales, warned of a possible "culture shift" toward wider acceptance of euthanasia.

They said that the plans would have "serious harmful effects on society" and "encourage criminal behaviour".

Abusive relatives and neglectful carers could seize on new assisted suicide rules to pressurise vulnerable people into killing themselves, the bishops have warned.

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, argued the new guidelines would in effect offer less protection of the law to certain categories of people.

The bishops, added: "It seems to imply that if the victim is disabled or terminally ill, then his or her life does not merit the same degree of protection by law.

"Such an underlying assumption is unacceptable in a civilised and caring society."

They added: "There is also a related danger that if, if aiding and abetting suicide is perceived to be tolerated than abuse by carers that currently expresses itself in neglect, violence and coercion will take other forms.

"Those who stand to gain advantage from the death of someone in their care might then be tempted to counsel or procure suicide."

Source: Medindia

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