Plans to legalise assisted suicide in Guernsey must be opposed, a Roman Catholic bishop has said.
Bishop Philip Egan’s letter to the island urged people to rally against the ‘grim proposal’, saying: “It is never permissible to do good by an evil means”.
He said that assisting someone to die can “never ever be a compassionate action”.
Sanctity of life
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth said: “We must not yield to the temptation to apply rapid or drastic solutions, moved by a false compassion or by criteria of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
“Instead, we need to show respect, understanding and tenderness to patients who are seriously ill, so that the sacred value of their life can shine forth with splendour in their suffering.
“Modern palliative care, an area in which the UK is a world leader, enables this.”
He added that where assisted suicide has been legalised, such as in Belgium in 2002, it has proven impossible to control, with laws since extended to include children.
Bishop Egan also said it would be incompatible with a doctor’s role as a healer.
He said: “It would be an intolerable and utterly immoral demand to ask medical staff, doctors and nurses, dedicated to preserving life, to extinguish the life of another human person”.
‘Horrific and dangerous’
The proposal is scheduled to be considered by legislators in May, and Bishop Egan said that however well-intentioned it is, it remains “fundamentally subversive, horrific and dangerous”.
If the motion is passed by politicians in May, an 18-month consultation period will then take place on the legal framework.
Campaigners across the UK have previously warned of the dangerous consequences of legalising the practice.