Denver Newsroom, May 24, 2021 / 16:00 pm
A true culture of caring protects the sick, the vulnerable, and the elderly, said one English Catholic bishop in response to a proposal to legalize assisted suicide in the United Kingdom.
“The culture built on the commandment ‘You shall not kill’ has protected the most vulnerable, led to the development of the finest end of life care and never required of our medical and nursing professions that they assist in the suicide or the killing of their patients,” Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury said on May 24. The bishop addressed a recent proposal in the UK House of Lords to legalize assisted suicide, called “aid in dying” by its proponents.
“I urge all those who value the sanctity of human life and desire the best care and support for the sick and the dying, to oppose this latest proposal to cross the line from caring towards killing,” Bishop Davies said.
“If Parliament were ever persuaded to legalize assisted suicide, we should be in no doubt as to the moral line that would be crossed,” he added. “A line that has never been legally crossed in our care of the sick and elderly since the foundation of our society.”
Baroness Meacher, an independent member of the House of Lords and chair of the assisted suicide advocacy group Dignity in Dying, has proposed a private member’s bill to legalize assisted suicide. Those who are terminally ill and who have been given no more than six months to live would be able to seek assisted suicide.
Bishop Davies contrasted the way the proposed bill treats the vulnerable with the efforts to protect the elderly and the ill from the coronavirus epidemic.
“The bill comes at the end of a public health crisis where all our efforts have been directed towards safeguarding the vulnerable,” the Catholic bishop said. “During this past year we have been reminded how the true measure of a society is seen in how we safeguard and care for the sick, the aged and those nearing the end of their lives.”
“To remove legal protections in legislating for assisted suicide, will take away a shield from some of the most vulnerable members of society,” he added.