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Assisted suicide bill threatens the vulnerable and will corrupt medics, says SPUC

10 November 2005

Assisted suicide bill threatens the vulnerable and will corrupt medics, says SPUC Westminster, 10th November 2005 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a member of the Campaign Against Euthanasia , has warned that Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill threatens the vulnerable and will corrupt medics. SPUC was reacting to today's publication of a revised version of the Bill. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, commented: "Lord Joffe's Bill will permit doctors to give lethal drugs to patients. It is a serious threat to elderly, disabled and terminally ill people. "Eminent lawyer Lord Carlile QC has warned that 'it is inevitable that many cases of homicide would be allowed to slip through the net if this kind of Bill became law.' Evidence also suggests that women, ethnic minorities and the depressed will be particularly threatened by the Bill. The Church of England fears that "it will be the poor and disadvantaged who suffer the consequences" if assisted suicide is legalised. "The Bill signals the beginning of further moves to spread intentional killing throughout the health service. Lord Joffe has admitted that "the Bill [is] a first stage...there [is] the possibility of subsequent amendment to widen its scope." "The hospice movement opposes the bill. The Association for Palliative Medicine has noted that 90% of practising palliative medicine doctors oppose a change in the law. The National Group of Palliative Care Nurse Consultants has said that "this Bill is fundamentally flawed and sets a dangerous precedent." "The Bill will shift doctors significantly away from the Hippocratic tradition - the basis of medical ethics that has protected the lives of patients and the consciences of doctors for 2,500 years. Sections of the medical profession have become hardened to killing by 38 years of legalised abortion in Britain. Legalising the killing of terminally ill patients will affect a number of major specialities, not only palliative care. Geriatrics, psychiatry, oncology, surgery and other areas will be tainted. Doctors will be morally corrupted and the confidence of the public in the medical profession will be destroyed." Anthony Ozimic, SPUC political secretary, can be contacted on +44 (0)7939 177683 or +44 (0)20 7222 5845. Notes for editors: In reaction to laws and proposals in Britain and other countries for euthanasia and assisted suicide, a group of doctors and lawyers have released a statement condemning these practices .

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