Bishops in Britain on Offensive Against Euthanasia

Parliament to Debate Legalizing the Procedure

LONDON, MARCH 31, 2006 ( The bishops’ conference of England and Wales has sent half a million leaflets to all parishes urging the faithful to oppose initiatives under way to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The move was in support of the Care Not Killing Alliance, launched in January.

The alliance brings together medical groups, disability-rights groups, faith communities and others opposed to any change in the law on euthanasia.

On May 12 the House of Lords will debate a bill to legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Lord Joel Joffe is promoting the bill.

It marks the next step in a highly organized campaign to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in England and Wales, explained the Catholic Communications Network, the bishops’ office for media relations.

Archbishop Peter Smith, president of the episcopal Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, urged Catholics to go to their members of Parliament and say that they do not want this law.

“We are encouraging as many Catholics as possible to support the work of Care Not Killing in whatever way they can,” the prelate stated.

In addition to the leaflets explaining the issues and promoting the alliance, parishes are receiving a 12-page document with suggested materials for use in parishes to raise awareness about Care Not Killing and proposed legislation on assisted suicide.

A DVD is also included featuring interviews with leading doctors and letters to parish priests.

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