UK Bishops comment on Euthanasia debate


In an interview on the Sunday BBC radio talk, Cardiff Bishop Peter Smith discussed the subject of euthanasia, and reiterated the position of the Church on the matter.

He referred to the dangers that ensue with the legalization of Euthanasia, pointing out to the situation in the Netherlands, where "despite all regulations (..) in practice, it has extended from assisted suicide to non-voluntary euthanasia, even for children."

"This is the slippery slope which we shall go," he warned.

Bishop Smith emphasized on the "lack of provision of proper medical and nursing assistance."

"We can’t go from hard cases, to say we want to change the law of the Gospels that life is God’s gift. We haven’t got the choice to say ‘well I want to go now."

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, echoed the comments of Bishop Smith, he was totally against a voluntary euthanasia bill.

"Not because I have no sympathy, but I also have sympathy for the law which protects life," he said

The House of Lords is to debate a bill on assisted suicide on Monday which would allow doctors to prescribe, but not administer, lethal drugs to terminally ill people

Under the bill, only "mentally competent adults" would be able to ask for assistance.

The peer introducing the bill in the upper house, Lord Joffe, told Reuters he was confident it would be supported.

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