Reform is needed on assisted dying
March 20th, 2009
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has today briefed MPs and asked for their support on an amendment which seeks to remove the threat of prosecution to those who accompany a loved one to a country in which assisted dying is lawful.
The British Humanist Association has long been involved in the debates around assisted dying. We defend the ethical principles of the right of each individual to live by her/his own personal values, and the freedom to make decisions about her/his own life so long as this does not result in harm to others.
We believe that people should be able to access good quality, patient-centred treatment and care at the end of life; and terminally ill, mentally competent adults should have the choice of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, if they feel their suffering is unbearable.
An amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill has been tabled by former Health Minister Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt MP: ‘Acts not capable of assisting or encouraging suicide (exception for travel abroad)’.
The purpose of this amendment is simply to start a debate in the House of Commons, and to highlight why the current law is not working. It is highly unlikely to be enacted in its current form; however we very much welcome this as an opportunity for much-needed Parliamentary debate.
We need as many MPs as possible both to support the amendment and join the debates on assisted dying, when the Bill is debated in the Commons on 23rd and 24th March.
If you support this position, please get in touch with your MP as soon as possible (the issues will be debated next week!) You can use our specially designed campaigns page to find out more information and to email your MP about the amendment.
Read our briefing to MPs.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief. It exists to support and represent people who seek to live good and responsible lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.