A pro-assisted suicide amendment was defeated in the British parliament last week in a vote of 179 to 145. According to Right to Life UK, this was a “major upset” as assisted suicide proponents had expected it to pass.
Assisted suicide in the United Kingdom is punishable by up to 14 years in jail based on the 1961 Suicide Act, according to Crux Now. The amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill would have allowed the government to introduce legislation to legalize assisted death. The amendment said the government would be obligated “to permit terminally ill, mentally competent adults legally to end their own lives with medical assistance” within a year of the bill becoming law. This latest defeat is the twelfth time in 25 years that the British parliament has thrown out an attempt to allow doctor-assisted death in the UK.
“The House of Lords has now unequivocally rejected the latest attempt to shoehorn radical assisted suicide laws on to the statute book,” said Danny Kruger, chairman of the anti-euthanasia and assisted suicide coalition, All Party Parliamentary Group for Dying Well. “Given that supporters of assisted suicide have said that the House of Lords is more supportive than the [House of] Commons, this is ample evidence that assisted suicide enjoys neither momentum nor support.”
While assisted suicide and euthanasia advocates call doctor-assisted death “dignified” and claim it is quick and painless, evidence shows that these claims are untrue. Dr. Joel Zivot, an expert on “physician participation in lethal injection,” said assisted dying is painful and that people may end up essentially drowning.
“The death penalty is not the same as assisted dying, of course. Executions are meant to be punishment; euthanasia is about relief from suffering,” he admitted. “Yet for both euthanasia and executions, paralytic drugs are used. These drugs, given in high enough doses, mean that a patient cannot move a muscle, cannot express any outward or visible sign of pain. But that doesn’t mean that he or she is free from suffering.”
Drowning to death as your lungs fill with fluid is not a “dignified” death compared to natural death. The person is paralyzed while they drown, meaning their death looks peaceful to onlookers but is really anything but.
Right to Life UK believes that, despite having been defeated multiple times, assisted dying proponents will again attempt to legalize assisted suicide — sooner rather than later.
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