Thursday, July 20, 2017

Not Dead Yet UK intervenes in assisted suicide court case.

Alex Schadenberg
International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Disability rights group - Not Dead Yet UK is intervening at the UK High Court 
in the Conway case. The Conway case seeks to strike down Britain's law that protects people from assisted suicide in the UK.

In their press release, Not Dead Yet states that legalising assisted suicide by any means would put other disabled and terminally ill people at risk. The Not Dead Yet UK press release states:
Not Dead Yet UK maintains any imposed safeguards will never be watertight enough to successfully protect all ill and disabled people from a change to the Suicide Act. The Act currently provides much needed protection to disabled and terminally ill people by prohibiting anyone from assisting another person to kill themselves. Even if only one person dies against their wishes as a result of a change to the law that is one death too many and completely unacceptable. We argue that disabled and terminally ill people are just as entitled to this protection as everyone else; to single out one group of society as different to the rest is a dangerous move and will be open to misinterpretation. Legalising Assisted Suicide for disabled and terminally ill people would again set us aside from the rest of society. We would effectively be second class citizens again, with suicide seen as a valid choice for us while non-disabled people would be encouraged to live. 
This issue was last considered by Parliament almost two years ago (September 2015) when Rob Marris MP’s “Assisted Dying Bill” was decisively defeated by 330 to 118 votes in the House of Commons. Mr Conway is now attempting to override Parliament’s decision by seeking a change in the law through the Courts.
The Press release then quotes from a few of their notable leaders:
Baroness Jane Campbell
Disability campaigner Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, one of the founders of Not Dead Yet UK said,
 
We have successfully seen off attempts to change the law on Assisted Suicide in Parliament. Now we must change tactics to ensure the Courts continue to uphold our equal right to life. The law must not be weakened via the back door.” 
Speaking for Not Dead Yet UK, co-founder Phil Friend said, 
A change in the law is a terrifying prospect to the vast majority of disabled and terminally ill people who work hard towards achieving equality for all. Until we have reached that objective Assisted Suicide will remain a dangerous and prejudiced option, likely to increase suffering and distress”. 
Liz Carr
Liz Carr, star of BBC1 drama ‘Silent Witness’ states,
 
Disabled and terminally ill people want support to live – not to die. It is important that the Court hears from the people most at risk from any change to the current law. As a long standing supporter of Not Dead Yet UK I am keen to take an active role in making that happen”.
Link to other articles concerning the disability rights group Not Dead Yet.

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