As Britain’s House of Lords prepares to debate the issue in June, the president of the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Archbishop Peter Smith, said this week allowing “assisted suicide would be a perverse act.”
According to L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop said the current norms are in place to protect vulnerable people from those who promote suicide. Therefore, amending them, “as some suggest, to allow assisted suicide would be a perverse act. This would produce a law that would go in contradictory directions, as on the hand it would prohibit encouraging suicide but on the other it would allow it to be assisted.”
“The legalization of assisted suicide is a complex and controversial argument that cannot be resolved with an amendment to a wide-reaching law conceived for other purposes,” he added.
“The arguments for the legalization of assisted suicide not only have to do with conscience and morality,” he went on. “There are matters of safety that the government has the responsibility to look after.”