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House of Lords hears Debbie Purdy case

3 June 2009

The House of Lords is hearing the case of Debbie Purdy, concerning whether her husband will be prosecuted if he takes her overseas to commit suicide. SPUC is represented as an intervenor. The principal issue is whether the Law Lords will overturn the ruling of the High Court and the Court of Appeal that the Director of Public Prosecutions is not required to issue a prosecuting policy on assisted suicide. [Sky, 2 June] and [SPUC, 1 June]. Almost 800 British people have joined Dignitas, the Swiss suicide company, with 34 of them ready to travel to Zurich and take a lethal drug overdose. [Guardian, 31 May]

An amendment that would have the effect of legalizing assisted suicide has been tabled to the British government's Coroners and Justice Bill in the House of Lords. Despite the Government saying that they did not want such an amendment attached to the Bill, it has been tabled by Lord Alderdice. Although the amendment has little chance of success, it is very important that it is strongly opposed at the committee stage debate, which is scheduled for 9th and 10th June. [SPUC action alert, 29 May]

A prominent abortion provider has been murdered in Kansas, America. Dr George Tiller, of Wichita, was shot dead as he attended church. Scott Roeder, a local man, is being held on suspicion of murder. [LifeNews, 1 June 2009] SPUC, in common with many America pro-life groups, has condemned the murder. [SPUC, 1 June]

A Catholic supporter of pro-abortion politicians has been nominated to be the next US ambassador to the Holy See. Miguel Diaz, a theology professor, supported the election of President Obama, as well as the appointment of Kathleen Sebelius as US health secretary. Professor Diaz's appointment has yet to be confirmed. [LifeNews, 28 May]

A group called Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) is pushing for Australia to adopt a Chinese-style one-child policy, with the aim of reducing Australia's population of 22 million people to seven million. The groups claims that such a drastic population cut is needed to ensure a sustainable future. [LifeSite, 24 April] Anthony Ozimic of SPUC commented: "Australia already has a below-replacement fertility rate and a high abortion rate. Concerns about sustainability, pollution, etc will not be addressed if fewer potential future scientists, engineers, etc are born." [National director's blog, 30 May]

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