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Religious Leaders Come In The Way Of Euthanasia

by Medindia Content Team on May 13, 2006 at 5:22 PM
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Religious Leaders Come In The Way Of Euthanasia

The law which stated that doctors can give drugs to end the life of those who are terminally ill was blocked by the upper house of British parliament. The assisted dying bill of Britain was based on the law in US. It stated that doctors can prescribe lethal drugs to patients who are suffering unbearably and have less than six months to live. These drugs can be administered by the patients to themselves. But after a seven-hour debate, members of the unelected House of Lords rejected the bill. Initially the law was proposed by Lord Joel Joffe who is a human rights lawyer.

He said that doctors should not complacently watch a terminally ill patient suffering unbearably. Hence he and his fellow supporters said that these terminally ill people should have the right to end their suffering. But the religious leaders say that nobody has the right to take away their life. The opponents were Lord Alexander Carlile, a member of the opposition Liberal Democrats, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Roman Catholic Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks. They voiced their opinions together and wrote an objection letter to the Times newspaper.

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They also said that such a bill would be very dangerous to the most vulnerable in the society. On the other hand Dignity in Dying, the group that supports the law, showed three-quarters of people supported assisted dying. But in US Oregon is the only state that allows doctor-assisted suicide. Apart from this other countries such as Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium have accepted and passed the assisted dying laws.

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