The British parliament is facing a crucial debate on Friday 18th July when legislation on assisted dying will be voted on in the House of Lords at second reading.
Observers say there won’t be enough parliamentary time for this private members bill to progress through both houses, but there can be no doubt that if passed then or at committee stage, it will be followed by another attempt to get assisted suicide onto the statute book in the next parliament.
The Church has been speaking up against the bill, and the arguments against it have been fully explained in Lord Brennan`s “Suicide and the Law“, and the bishops statement “Sense and nonsense on assisted dying“.
Last month, in a pastoral letter to his diocese, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury warned the bill may inadvertently lead to the deaths of large numbers of vulnerable people.
He said it is “impossible to predict” the unforeseen consequences of such a change in the law and warned the passage of such a bill could be akin to in 1967 when politicians legalized the killing of unborn children in limited and exceptional circumstances, and “did not foresee how violating the sanctity of human life would lead to the wanton destruction of millions of lives.”
The Catholic Union of Great Britain is appealing for help, urging people to consider writing to three or more peers on the list (address is House of Lords , Westminster, London. SW1A 0PW), asking them to attend and vote.
They recommend that a hand written letter is always best, “especially if you are drawing on your personal or professional experience.”
“If you want to use material from other sources please put it into your own words,” they said in a statement. “A phone call can also be good if you know them personally. You can direct it to the House of Lords via the main switchboard, 020 7219 3000, where it will go through to their office or answer phones.”
Rt Hon. the Lord Pendry (Labour)
Rt Hon. the Baroness Scotland of Asthall, QC (Labour)
The Lord Snape (Labour)
The Viscount Tenby (Crossbench)
The Lord Tombs (Crossbench)
The Lord Tordoff (Liberal Democrat)
The Lord Tugendhat (Conservative)
Rt Hon. the Baroness Williams of Crosby (Liberal Democrat)
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