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Proposed independent advocates will encourage inhuman medical practice, says SPUC

3 October 2005

Proposed independent advocates will encourage inhuman medical practice, says SPUC Westminster, 3 October 2005 - The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has said that Independent Medical Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) will "help grease the wheels of the inhuman medical practice of starving and dehydrating patients to death." In an open letter to the department of health officials setting up the IMCA service, Paul Tully, SPUC General Secretary, writes: "It is undeniable that many doctors, especially in hospitals, have been killing certain of their patients like this for years, and even bullying families into acquiescing in what is on any reading cruel and unusual treatment. Those who have no families will have provided for them, not the unambiguous protection of the law, but Independent Advocates set up under an Act which authorises and even enforces intentional killing by omission. Thus, in practice, will the wheels of euthanasia be greased. And it will all be done in the name of a misguided sense of compassion and a grossly exaggerated emphasis on autonomy." Mr Tully urges those implementing the Mental Capacity Act, which includes the provision of IMCAs, to think again. He writes: "The consequences of the implementation of this Act, notwithstanding all the "good things" it contains, will be catastrophic for the UK because the Act is rotten at its core. More and more vulnerable people will be deprived of their lives in Britain at the hands of doctors. The right to choose death by omission will become the duty to die by starvation and dehydration. And when people see what a nasty way this is to die, the ground will have been prepared for Parliament to abandon its protection of the weak and the vulnerable and authorise active euthanasia by lethal injection." SPUC has decided against making further submissions, because doing so would serve no useful purpose. Mr Tully writes: "The principal terms of this consultation are to assist ... in the construction of the administrative framework within which Independent Mental Capacity Advocates will carry out their legal duties. One of those duties is to assist what has always been the central objective of the Mental Capacity Act, the killing by neglect of those whose lives are considered by the individual and/or others to be no longer worth living." The open letter is on the web here . SPUC made extensive and detailed submissions to the consultative processes leading up to the Mental Capacity Act.

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