It is a “myth” that euthanasia can be safely legalised for only those deemed to be terminally ill, a former specialist palliative medicine consultant has warned.
Writing to the Church Times, Dr Claud Regnard of St Oswald’s Hospice countered a joint article written by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey and Rabbi Jonathan Romain, Chair of pro-assisted suicide group Dignity in Dying.
Dr Regnard said “it is sad to find two prominent faith leaders ignoring the facts” that “all established jurisdictions have relaxed or removed” euthanasia safeguards, while even “new jurisdictions are challenging ‘safeguards’ as discriminatory barriers”.
The medical expert said it was “no surprise that palliative-care physicians are almost unanimously sceptical” about euthanasia.
it is sad to find two prominent faith leaders ignoring the facts
“Scrutiny is poor or non-existent: for example, Dignitas produces no reports, and Oregon destroys all source documents one year after each annual report, making verification impossible. No lethal drug has ever been assessed or approved by any drug regulatory authority anywhere in the world.”
In a separate letter to the Church Times, Revd John Powell criticised Lord Carey for endorsing “such a dangerous practice” that allows medics to break the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” and opens “the door to a host of malpractices”.
In July, campaigners warned MPs that legalising euthanasia would pose a serious threat to disabled people.
Representatives of disability groups opposed to any change to the law in England and Wales voiced their objections in evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee’s ongoing inquiry into assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Participant A, once in favour of assisted suicide, said they had not been persuaded that disabled people could be “protected from any kind of coercion” to get help to kill themselves.
They said society is “sending out a message which says, ‘Here’s an option, you can cost the state £5,000 a week for health and social care support needs, or you cost them £1,500 as a one-off and that will solve everybody’s problem'”.