A Christian MP is backing the launch of an all-party parliamentary group to oppose assisted suicide in the UK.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Danny Kruger MP said that the push for such legislation was “dystopic”.
The launch of the group, which is backed by 26 MPs and Peers, comes as secular humanist groups ramp up pressure on the Government to remove vulnerable people’s protections against assisted suicide.
Kruger warned: “Once you have conceded, legally, the right of some people to request official help to kill themselves, that right quickly becomes universal.”
The MP expressed his concerns at the “dystopia” – the nightmarish society – that would result, with people being pressurised to end their lives.
“If you ‘may’ terminate your life because it is not worth living, surely you ‘ought’ to do so? And if you ‘ought’ to do so, surely others should encourage you to do the right thing? And if you won’t, surely the state should compel you to do so?” he wrote.
Care not killing
Kruger stressed that the best method of managing end of life care was to invest in palliative care, not to “allow doctors or judges to authorise an artificial termination”.
He said no-one should be required to “take the awful choice of whether and when to kill themselves”.
Both Belgium and the Netherlands legalised euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2002.
The MP pointed out that their laws initially applied to a narrow range of individuals but have since been widened. This has gone as far as to include those complaining of old age and even individuals under the age of 12.
Last month, the co-chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group wrote to the Secretary of State for Justice and urged him to set in motion a review into “the UK’s laws on assisted dying”.
Under the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a person who intentionally encourages or assists the suicide or attempted suicide of another person commits an offence which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
A Bill to legalise assisted suicide was soundly defeated in the House of Commons in 2015 by 330 votes to 118. The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill was also rejected by 82 votes to 36 the same year.