The head of the Church of England has said the passage of the Assisted Dying Bill will make Britain into a country where life was no longer “worth protecting”.
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, said the change in law if the private members bill passed would dehumanise the country. He also said allowing doctors to administer lethal doses of poison to terminally ill patients would be tantamount to condoning suicide, a crime in the United Kingdom.
The potential law, which has been introduced to parliament by a Labour MP will be debated on Friday and could herald a major change in the way patients are treated in Britain.
The archbishop said this change would be “monumental”, and would change the way people viewed life as being no longer “worth protecting, worth honouring, worth fighting for”, reports The Daily Mail. Worse, he believes the process would suffer from mission creep – what starts with people nearing the end of their lives volunteering to die ends with them being pressured into it for convenience and financial expediency.
The NHS, of course, has a duty to provide value for money for taxpayers like all government departments. And palliative care is expensive.
Experiences in other first-world nations which have introduced assisted dying shows why such policies concern the archbishop.
Breitbart London reported last year that so-called assisted suicide was “out of control” in the Netherlands, where the number of mentally ill patients ‘assisted’ to death had trebled in just one year, and the total number of all such killings had gone up by 15-per-cent.
A report released last month found that wherever assisted suicide has been introduced, the practice of the killings has inevitably spread from just terminal to non-terminal cases in time.
Examining evidence from assisted dying areas – the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Oregon and Washington – the report found assisted dying had spread to the mentally ill, postnatal abortions, and killings without consent. In Belgium, over 1,000 people a year are killed by medical professionals without having asked to be first.
Report author Professor David Albert Jones pointed out of the potential pitfalls of introducing assisted suicide within the United Kingdom, remarking:
“If legalised, assisted suicide or euthanasia would be implemented in the context of the NHS. In this regard it is important to be realistic about the current state of healthcare in the UK and failures that can occur and that have occurred, for example, in Mid Staffordshire and in the implementation of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.
“These problems were not confined to one Trust or one Pathway but reflect cultural challenges within the NHS. How might assisted suicide or euthanasia be implemented in an environment of targets and ‘tick-boxes’ that sometimes operate to the detriment of patient care?”
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