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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Mental Capacity Bill legalises intentional killing, says SPUC

21 June 2004

Mental Capacity Bill legalises intentional killing, says SPUC Westminster, 21 June 2004 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has described the government's Mental Capacity Bill as "the legalisation of intentional killing". John Smeaton, SPUC's national director, said: "The bill will fulfil one of euthanasia movement's key goals - legalised denial of food and fluids from vulnerable patients, in order to create demand for supposedly more humane deaths by lethal injection. The Mental Capacity Bill will undoubtedly legalise voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia by neglect. Euthanasia by neglect means deliberately killing patients. It is not the same as allowing a dying person to die peacefully. That is already entirely legal. Mr Smeaton was responding to the Bill's introduction into Parliament last Thursday. Mr Smeaton continued: "Patients with dementia, stroke, brain injury and similar conditions would be most at risk. The bill would allow for them to be killed by withholding their basic medical care, or even food and fluids. The law would apply to people who could not communicate and would apply to them whether or not they had requested it. It will mean telling doctors to end their patients' lives. "The bill would not only enshrine in statute law the 1993 Bland judgement, when the judges admitted they were involved in intentional killing through the removal of assisted food and fluids, but would greatly extends the provisions of the Bland judgement to cover potentially any mentally incapacitated patient. "Also, the bill would make 'advance decisions', commonly called 'living wills', legally enforceable, including those with a suicidal intent. It must not be forgotten that 'living wills' were invented and are heavily promoted by the euthanasia movement. The international euthanasia movement has declared that the legalisation of euthanasia by neglect is a key step in its campaign to legalise euthanasia by lethal injection. "The bill's "anti-euthanasia" clause is purely cosmetic, because the sections of the bill which allow euthanasia by neglect into statute law will not be affected by this. The clause is aimed at deceiving people about the Bill's real purpose - to allow intentional killing by omission of basic care and reasonable medical treatment. "The revised Bill features new sections which would allow the government to appoint "independent consultees" who would have power to tell NHS doctors not to give life-saving treatment to huge numbers of mentally incapacitated patients. "Any MP who is genuinely opposed to euthanasia must in conscience vote against the Bill at 2nd reading", Mr Smeaton concluded.

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