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SPUC calls Hewitt assisted suicide move reckless

20 March 2009

SPUC calls Hewitt assisted suicide move reckless London, 20 March - MPs have tabled an amendment seeking to legalise assisting the suicide of any vulnerable person, not restricted to the terminally ill.

The amendment tabled by Patricia Hewitt and others would legalise helping any vulnerable person to commit suicide.

It would apply to people with disabilities and those who have degenerative diseases, and these people are the main target of the amendment, but it is much more wide-ranging.

Paul Tully, General Secretary of SPUC said: "This is a reckless and dangerous amendment that could lead to the deaths of many people if MPs do not read the text of the amendment carefully and recognise that it sanctions helping anyone to die - a teenager upset after failing exams or bullied at school, a businessman in debt, or a post-natally depressed mother. The euthanasia lobby have a track record of exploiting people who have lost hope and purpose in their lives. The appropriate response in a caring and civilised society is to help such people to regain their sense of self-worth and overcome suffering, not to tell them that they are right to want to die. But the MPs who have tabled this amendment are threatening the lives of all suicidal people whatever problem they face." Text of amendment, tabled 19 March 2009 by Patricia Hewitt, Mr Crispin Blunt, Dr Evan Harris, Kevin Barron, Richard Ottaway and James Plaskitt: "To move the following Clause:- ' (1) The Suicide Act 1961 (c.60) is amended as follows. (2) After Section 2, insert - '2ZA Acts not capable of encouraging or assisting suicide An act by D is not to be treated as capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person ("T") if the act is done solely or principally for the purpose of enabling or assisting T to travel to a country or territory in which assisted dying is lawful.'."


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