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Assisted Dying Bill would 'transform doctors into killers'

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Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill would “turn doctors into executioners” and lead to the “loss of respect for life", columnist and author, Melanie Phillips, has warned.

Commenting on the dangers of the Bill in an article for the Times, Ms Phillips said that assisted suicide had the effect of “brutalising society” and was the equivalent of allowing doctors to push a disabled person off a cliff at their request.

Manipulating language

She highlighted how opposition to assisted was continuing to soften “because of the way campaigners had manipulated the language in order to reframe the debate.”

She added: “In a stroke of propaganda genius, the Voluntary Euthanasia Society renamed itself Dignity in Dying. Instantly, killing was transformed into dying. Killing is bad, but dying is inevitable.

“The unconscionable was thus turned into the unstoppable. The seedy and sinister became enlightened and compassionate. Anyone who opposed ‘dying with dignity’ was denounced as cruel.

“However, suicide is not dying and assisted suicide is helping people to kill themselves.”

“Slippery slope”

She warned further that a change in the law would be the start of a “slippery slope”, noting that assisted suicide laws in Belgium had led to the introduction of euthanasia for children as young as six earlier this year.

“Lord Falconer’s report, on which his bill is based, implicitly suggested its own red line was permeable, stating that it would be unacceptable merely “at this point in time” to extend the right to assisted suicide to those who were not terminally ill,” she said.

“As the wheelchair-bound Baroness Campbell observed, once society permits the deliberate procurement of someone’s death all bets are off.  If this is permitted for the terminally ill, why not for those with chronic or progressive conditions? And if for them, why not for disabled people?”

The Bill will be debated by the House of Lords at its Second Read on 18th July.

Read Melanie Phillips’ full article here >