Monday, December 14, 2009

Euthanasia: the pro-life response?

Bishops concede 'compassion' as a reason not to prosecute in assisted suicide cases

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales want you to respond to the consultation by the Director of Public Prosecutions on assisted suicide. The DPP's proposed guidelines include a list of 'factors' for and against prosecuting those who help others commit suicide. The Bishops official response points out that being a close relative, contrary to the DPP, should NOT give you a right to immunity from prosecution if you persuade granny to end it all and help her on her way.

But their response (pdf, p 12) concedes that being motivated by 'compassion' is a factor against prosecution - along with more straightforward factors such as that of making only a small contribution to the death.

Is the fact a murderer genuinly beleives his victim is better off dead really a reason not to prosecute him?

If the murderer thought that the victim was better off dead because he was a member of the wrong religion or race this would be an aggravating factor in the crime under the present law of the UK. Yet if he thinks so because the victim is disabled, this apparently mitigates the offence, and may lead to a decision not to prosecute.

Again, the fact that a person is ill, in pain, or dying, gives those around him a duty to look after him. But according to the DPP, and even according to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, it gives everyone a ready-made excuse to help him on his way.


Anonymous said...

The Archbisop of Westminser address-detailed in to-days Observer is a masterpiece of clarity and compassion.To those of us who believe in the sanctity of life it will give strength but sadly we seem in the minority.The slide to a totally secular society is something I have witnessed over half a century and apart from personal griefs it is the saddest spectacle I know of.I suspect many who are not Catholic will share in this sadness.Dear Rowan Williams,who allowed me to dedicate a book to him,has made a similar affirmation.The government clearly has other ideas and the Assisted Suicide Bill will no doubt become law.The cosequences will be dire.Many years ago my ex-wife's uncle,a veteran of the Korean war had cancer.His son,hoping to take over the lease of his father's council house,went on a month's fishing holiday.confident his father would be dead when he returned.I spoke to the uncle's SHO,who relayed my concerns to the surgeon who went on to perform a 9 hour operation and the patient gained a further two years of joywith his much loved grandchildren.Legally I did not have any standing and the son never forgave me for my interference.Barry Tebb

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Suffering from depression as I do,'s a real choice..give me the injection! See how awful it is to make things easier..

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen