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Why you should support SPUC’s White Flower Appeal this weekend

Posted by Anthony Ozimic on 8 January 2016

The disabled, terminally-ill, incapacitated, and elderly are at grave risk. Help protect them by backing SPUC’s White Flower Appeal this weekend.

Our 2016 appeal, starting this weekend, will focus on our Lives Worth Living campaign against assisted suicide. In 1983 SPUC launched its first White Flower Appeal, an annual fundraising appeal held primarily in churches.

The symbol of the White Flower Appeal is a white rose. The inspiration for this choice of flower was the White Rose resistance group against Nazism by students at Munich University. These students were inspired to form the White Rose group after reading one of the famous sermons of Bishop (later Cardinal) Clemens von Galen against the Nazi euthanasia programme. Hans Scholl, one of the group’s leader, said: "Finally someone has the courage to speak."

A White Flower

The white flower therefore links SPUC to a historic campaign of resistance to attacks against the right to life, including euthanasia. The whiteness of the rose symbolises innocent human life and the delicacy of a flower symbolises its vulnerability.

This week the continuing threat to innocent, vulnerable human life from euthanasia has been highlighted in the media. Yesterday The Times reported that:

"The Dutch Society for a Voluntary End of Life is now campaigning for suicide pills to become available automatically to everybody over 70 on the basis of a request to a doctor or pharmacist.

Doctors are concerned that medically assisted killing is increasingly seen as a consumer right and they fear that the campaign will create "an obligation for the doctor to co-operate" on demand, leading to abuse of euthanasia or an acceptance that it is the most appropriate social response to old age.

In 2014, 5,306 Dutch people, including 41 patients who were mentally ill, persuaded their doctors to administer lethal doses of drugs to end their lives because of "unbearable" pain. The figure was 10 per cent higher than the previous year.

If Britain had the same laws as the Netherlands and used euthanasia on the same per capita basis it would mean more than 20,200 people medically killed every year."

'Soaring death numbers'

Also this week, the Catholic Herald reports that:

"The family of an elderly cancer sufferer who wanted to die by euthanasia is suing a Belgian Catholic care home for refusing to let a doctor give the woman a lethal injection on Church-run premises.


[C]ritics say that the law is interpreted so liberally that euthanasia is available on demand, with doctors giving lethal injections to the disabled, the mentally ill and those with dementia, as well as patients who are terminally ill.

Last year, a paper published in the highly respected Journal of Medical Ethics reported that the majority of euthanasia cases in Belgium involve patients who are illegally “put to death” by doctors without ever giving their consent.

Numbers of deaths by euthanasia have also soared incrementally over a decade, from 235 in 2003 to 1,807 in 2013."

So we can see that assisted suicide and euthanasia are out of control in The Netherlands and Belgium.

SPUC supporters played a key role in helping defeat Rob Marris MP’s Assisted Dying Bill last year, which was rejected by a unexpectedly large margin. We cannot, however, rest on our laurels, because the pro-euthanasia lobby are regrouping for renewed attacks on the right to life of the disabled, the sick and the elderly.

Lives Worth Living

SPUC has therefore launched its Lives Worth Living campaign. Lives Worth Living is helping to give some balance to a very one-sided debate by spelling out why assisted suicide must be opposed. The campaign warns the public, politicians and mainstream media about the dire consequences which lie in store for the sick, disabled and dying should the pro-euthanasia lobby get its way.

You can support SPUC’s Lives Worth Living campaign, and its other work, in the following ways:

  1. Give generously to your local White Flower Appeal (or make a donation)
  2. Sign SPUC’s declaration of support for vulnerable people which is addressed to Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health.
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