BY ANNA ARCO
PRO-LIFERS welcomed the news that proposed legislation over assisted suicide was left undiscussed last Monday, Elspeth Elspeth Chowdharay-Best of ALERT, the antieuthanasia group, said they were pleased that their efforts had stopped the discussion from taking place. She considers it unlikely that it would be tackled in the Lords.
An amendment was tabled in the 11th hour of the Coroners and Justice Bill, but it was not discussed during the Bill’s third reading due to a lack of time. The proposal would have given friends and relatives of the people travelling abroad to countries where suicide is legal immunity from prosecution upon their return to Britain.
Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff said the amendment tabled by former health minister Patricia Hewitt threatened to hijack the Bill’s “sensible proposals” to limit predatory internet websites which promote or encourage suicide in order “to allow assistance of it in the case of people who go abroad to kill themselves”.
Writing in a letter to the Times, Archbishop Smith asked whether making assisted suicide easier was not “tantamount to encouraging the act”. A spokesman for the Care not Killing group said that the amendment had been tabled to give publicity to the “right to die” lobby.