THE campaign “Not Dead Yet” has launched an online petition ahead of a bill which would open the door to state-sanctioned assisted suicide in the United Kingdom.
The forthcoming Private Members Bill, put forth by Lord Falconer, would give terminally ill elderly patients access to drugs with which to end their lives.
This latest initiative of the “Not Dead Yet” campaign invites people to sign a petition against the bill. Founded in 2006 by Baroness Jane Campbell, “Not Dead Yet” is an international network of people with disabilities who oppose the legalised killing of those with disabilities.
Earlier this month, the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain Archbishop Antonio Mennini called on the Church to “make its voice heard” against the bill.
“I cannot fail to express concern about the Assisted Dying Bill which will be discussed in the next few months in the House of Lords,” he said in an address to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales plenary meeting. “This is a very sensitive issue, which required a serious commitment from us to protect and defend human life as a gift from God.
“As Pope Francis said in his message to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales on the occasion of the Day for Life celebrated last year: ‘Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect’.”
The nuncio noted how opening the “Pandora’s Box” of assisted suicide would lead to “horrible consequences”.
Archbishop Mennini cited the frequent use of “emotional” arguments, which are often used in the name of compassion.
“We have seen that even here, among us, regarding abortion, and the last news about ‘selective abortion’. But also elsewhere, in other European countries which recently have made change in their laws moving from a limited concept of ‘euthanasia’ to a wider spectre, also including children, as in Belgium,” he said.
“We, as the Catholic Church, have to make our voice heard in this regard as you have already done successfully in other fields.”