CNK responds to parliamentary question on travelling for assisted suicide during COVID lockdown
Regarding an Urgent Question secured by Andrew Mitchell MP, answered in the Commons by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on 5 November.
Date: Thursday 5th November 2020
Release time: Immediate
Responding to the urgent parliamentary question on travelling during lockdown for the purpose of assisted suicide, Dr Gordon Macdonald, CEO of Care Not Killing commented:
'It is disappointing that yet against those pushing for the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia are trying to exploit the global COVID pandemic to push their narrow and dangerous agenda.
'To change the Suicide Act and homicide legislation would require removing universal protections based solely on someone's health or disability. This would send out a dog whistle message that the lives of the terminally ill and disabled people are less worthy of protection than others.
'Exactly as we have seen with the treatment of a small number of residents in the UK's care system. Currently under investigation are the blanket imposition of Do Not Resusitate notices and why vulnerable people were discharged from hospitals into care homes without testing for COVID, or ensuring they were no longer contagious.'
Dr Macdonald continued:
'This is why in Oregon, the model put forward by those wanting a change in the law, more than half cite fear of being a burden on their families and finances as a reason they are ending their lives. While in the Netherlands and Belgium, laws for terminally ill mentally competent adults have been extended to people with psychiatric conditions, disabled people and even children. Most recently we have seen the acquittal of a medic who euthanised her patient, a 74-year-old woman suffering from dementia, despite the lady saying she did not want to die on no-less than three separate occasions. This is why mendacious claims about safeguards and strict limits should be dismissed and the current law maintained.
'What we really need in our country is proper funding for high quality social and palliative care, which caters for patients' physical and psychological needs and supports their families.'
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Care Not Killing is a UK-based alliance bringing together over 40 organisations - human rights and disability rights organisations, health care and palliative care groups, faith-based organisations groups - and thousands of concerned individuals.
We have three key aims:
*As this story is dealing with suicide, please could we ask that you include details about organisations that offer help and support to vulnerable people who might be feeling suicidal such as the Samaritans, CALM or similar - Thank you.*