SPUC relieved at defeat of assisted suicide bill
12 May 2006
SPUC relieved at defeat of assisted suicide bill Westminster, 12 May 2006 -- Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill bill was defeated in a vote in the House of Lords today. Some 90 peers participated in the debate, including many medical peers and disabled peers who spoke strongly against the Bill. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (which campaigns to protect the right to life from conception to natural death) expressed great relief at the result. SPUC has opposed successive efforts to introduce the Joffe Bill, and led national letter-writing campaigns lobbying members of the upper house to reject the bill today. SPUC general secretary, Paul Tully said: "The bill runs counter to the right to life of gravely ill and dying people, and would undermine the status of elderly and disabled people. We believe it would also lead to the practice of active euthanasia - extending the provision for passive euthanasia in the Mental Capacity Act, due to be implemented next year. "The views of medical bodies, disability rights groups and faith organisations have rightly been prominent in the debate, and the need to protect rather than further undermine, the right to life has won the vote today. We must not relax our efforts to ensure the wider and more effective provision of palliative care, which all those participating the debate have agreed upon." 148 peers voted against the bill and 100 supported it.