Labour MP Rob Marris has taken up the campaign to introduce assisted suicide and will bring a Private Members’ Bill to Westminster in the coming weeks.
Marris says he wants to see a ‘compassionate’ assisted suicide law passed by Parliament, but a pro-life Christian charity says caring is always better than killing.
MPs are expected to vote on the issue in September.
Marris, Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West, acknowledged “the prospects of getting the law changed are difficult without official Government support”.
Downing Street made clear that the Bill would not be given Government support, with Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman saying he was “concerned that legislation may push people into things they do not actually want for themselves”.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon voted against assisted suicide in Scotland last month and former Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg has spoken out against the practice.
Dignity in Dying, formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, is supporting the proposals.
They will be debated by MPs because Marris won the House of Commons backbench ballot.
Dignity in Dying said Marris’ Bill will “essentially be the same” as Lord Falconer’s Bill, which failed to pass in the last Parliament.
Stand for life
Nola Leach, Chief Executive of Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), said Christians “stand for life, not death and it is always better to care, not to kill”.
Writing on the Christian Today website, she highlighted stories of people who are concerned about any weakening of the law.
She gave an example of a mother who thought her disabled child might one day “willingly bow to those who said it would be better for her to end her life”.
And she spoke of a man with Alzheimer’s who “expressed his fear that if the law changed others might decide his life was no longer of any value”.
Essence of love
She commented: “We may well understand that someone does not want to be a burden on others, but we are designed to be part of others, caring for each other. Dependence is the essence of love.”
Nola Leach concluded: “Moreover, it is the duty of the law of the land to protect and we must protect the vulnerable who are at risk if physician assisted suicide or euthanasia is legal.
“How much better to put all our efforts into the care of those who are suffering and their loved ones all of whom are precious to God.”