Be aware: Coordinated bid to change end-of-life laws

A coordinated push from pro-euthanasia activists is underway which includes emotional court cases and a bid to neutralise doctors.

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The warning about the coordinated campaign comes from Dr Peter Saunders, one of Britain’s leading opponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

He says a synchronised assault has been launched on the courts, the media, the medical profession and Parliament.


In recent months, the news media have featured two court cases of people trying to change the law on end-of-life issues.

This has been matched by a campaign to shift the policy of the British Medical Association from being opposed to assisted suicide, to being ‘neutral’.

Today the BMA Annual Representative Meeting will vote on whether to adopt a position of ‘neutrality’.


Dr Saunders says that on 4 July, Dignity in Dying (formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society) will begin “a mass lobby of Parliament”.

He says: “This will coincide with a day conference where celebrities will address supporters.

“Their glossy propaganda inserts are spilling out of commercial publications; they are spending hundreds of thousands; and clearly believe this is their year.”


A draft Bill has been written by campaigners to show how the law could be changed.

Its contents are not known, but it is thought it may seek to legalise assisted suicide for those who have less than 12 months to live and are of sound mind.

But critics of assisted suicide say it cannot be legalised for the few who demand it without putting a much larger group of elderly and vulnerable patients at risk.


And others say the push for assisted suicide is driven by cynical economic motives about the cost of caring for people near the end of life.

Parliament has twice rejected attempts at legalising assisted suicide.

In 2008 Baroness Warnock said that elderly people suffering from dementia are “wasting people’s lives” and “wasting the resources of the National Health Service” and should be allowed to die.

In 2010 Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, who was born with the wasting disease spinal muscular atrophy, said disabled people need help and support to live, not to die.

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