Care Not Killing today called for the government to reject assisted suicide and instead move to improve palliative care across the nation.
Care Not Killing is a new UK-based alliance bringing together human rights groups, healthcare groups, palliative care groups, faith-based organisations and concerned individuals. It will oppose Lord Joffe's Bill on euthanasia and all other attempts to legalise physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for the terminally ill in the UK.
On a newly launched website, www.carenotkilling.org.uk, its key aims are clearly stated as:
Care not Killing is already attracting broad support from health care professionals, disabled people and others who are opposed to euthanasia. It will campaign on the basis of powerful arguments underpinned by the latest, well-researched and credible evidence.
Key groups already signed up to join Care Not Killing include The Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Council of Disabled People, RADAR, the Christian Medical Fellowship and the Medical Ethics Alliance. Those present at the launch included members of the House of Lords, senior figures in the medical profession and leaders of Disabled People's Groups.
Care Not Killing will:
John Wiles, Chairman of the Association for Palliative Medicine and a member of the Care Not Killing steering group, commented: “There is an urgent need both to campaign for more and better palliative care whilst opposing any change in the law. Opposition to proposed changes in the law on assisted dying is widespread – but has been fragmented. This coalition is bringing together those many organisations and individuals, both in the healthcare sector and outside it, who regard euthanasia in any form as an unacceptable way forward.”
Baroness Finlay, Professor of Palliative Medicine in Cardiff and a member of the Lords Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, added, “I fully support this initiative. The UK has led the world in the provision of palliative care which strives for true dignity in dying. We need to promote better understanding of the process.”