The Bishop of Manchester has come out strongly against euthanasia saying that the proposed changes in the law would increase the cases of mercy killing of "unwanted children."
"As some paediatricians have said, implicit in the legislative proposals is the possibility that assisted dying could eventually apply to children - not least those born unwanted or `damaged'," Bishop Nigel was quoted as saying in the Manchester Diocese magazine, Crux. "The slippery slope argument is much denied but already in Holland mercy killings have been extended to other groups." He added that many doctors themselves were against the changes to the law, "With good palliative care, most deaths can be dignified and free from pain. This country is a world leader in palliative medicine and our hospice movement is a prime example of providing care that enables people to die well. The consequences of a change in the law would include extra pressure on vulnerable people at a time when they have lessened ability to make judgments." He added that the sacred doctor-patient relationship could also be damaged. However the pro-euthanasia group Dignity in Dying disagreed with the Bishop's views, "They realize this is not a theological issue, it is one about human beings asking to be treated with compassion when they are in enormous distress with a terminal illness," a spokesman for the group said. "It's time for Church leaders to put away their prejudices and pay attention to the evidence before their own eyes."