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Defending life from the moment of conception

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MPs vote to uphold right to life for all

11 September 2015

The Houses of Parliament

SPUC Pro-Life, a leading anti-euthanasia group, has welcomed the defeat of the Assisted Dying bill in Parliament today.

MPs voted by 330 to 118 to reject Rob Marris MP's bill to enlist doctors to assist suicide for certain people. The vote of 330 represents an absolute majority of MPs.

Commenting on the result, Paul Tully, SPUC Pro-Life's General Secretary, said: "This was an important victory for true compassion. It is a vote of affirmation for all those healthcare staff looking after terminally ill people. It will be a great relief to those with disabilities, chronic conditions and degenerative illnesses. The threat to them has been averted for now.

"The challenge we face as a society is to ensure that in future those affected by serious and limiting conditions are not left feeling desperate for lack of proper living support.

"It is important to recognise that the defeat of the bill does not mean that people in severe pain will suffer more – in fact the bill included no mention of pain. Palliative care specialists can nearly always provide effective pain relief, even for very severe pain, and this is rarely cited as a reason for contemplating suicide."

Looking to the future

Among many outstanding speeches against the bill, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, a breast cancer surgeon, said: "I have never considered as a doctor that death was a good treatment for anything".

Mr Tully continued: "The campaign against this bill has helped to highlight the failings in support which can leave people feeling frustrated and suicidal.  Along with ongoing efforts to improve palliative care for people in terminal illness, the demands for improvements in this area must be heeded.

"However, it would be foolish to think that better palliative care and better support for disabled people will stop the euthanasia lobby demanding medical killing. The ideologues of euthanasia will continue to press for right to demand death regardless of the consequences. We must remain vigilant against this threat."

For more detailed comments or an interview with Paul Tully, please contact Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's Media Manager, on:

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