UK health secretary and chief lockdown promoter begins push to legalize assisted suicide
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Hancock wrote to Office of National Statistics (ONS) head Sir Ian Diamond, asking for data “to inform the debate” about doctor-assisted suicide two weeks ago, The Telegraph reported. The secretary also met with MPs to discuss the issue, the outlet said.
Hancock reportedly told the All Party Parliamentary Group for Choice at the End of Life that he was interested in data about Britons who leave the country to kill themselves in foreign doctor-assisted suicide clinics. Hancock, who previously opposed legalization efforts, claimed to have switched his stance, saying that “views of this do change.”
The parliamentary group supporting assisted suicide, led by Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, is calling for a referendum on the matter as soon as 2024.
At the meeting with Hancock, Mitchell said the group wanted a “tightly drawn” policy to authorize the killing of someone who wishes to be “put to sleep” to avoid pain. The proposal would require the agreement of two doctors that the person has six months to live, as well as authorization from a high court judge.
Other MPs, however, have pushed back strongly on the pro-death campaign. “Once you have conceded, legally, the right of some people to request official help to kill themselves, that right quickly becomes universal,” MP Daniel Kruger wrote in a recent essay.
In Belgium and the Netherlands, “(l)aws which were supposed to limit euthanasia to mentally competent terminally ill adults now allow the euthanasia of non-mentally competent adults, disabled children aged under 12 months, disabled adults, and even those with treatable psychiatric problems,” he said.
“If you ‘may’ terminate your life because it is not worth living, surely you ‘ought’ to do so?” the Conservative MP continued. “And if you ‘ought’ to do so, surely others should encourage you to do the right thing? And if you won’t, surely the state should compel you to do so?”
Kruger emphasized that palliative care offered a “far better solution” than the “dystopia” of euthanasia and announced that he and like-minded colleagues were launching a new group to fight attempts to change the law. The same day, 70 MPs and peers signed a letter to the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland, outlining “grave concerns about the renewed calls to change the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia.”
“We do not consider that a new inquiry into this complex and emotive subject is warranted,” they said, noting that Parliament had rejected legalization of assisted suicide by more than 200 votes in 2015. “The matter has been extensively investigated since the 2004 inquiry led by the former Lord Chancellor Lord Mackay,” they added.
“Euthanasia is, sadly, the natural destination for a law allowing assisted suicide, which replaces what we have now – a law based on the rational and widely-accepted principle that we do not involve ourselves in deliberately bringing about the deaths of others – with a law based on artificial and arbitrary criteria like a prognosis of terminal illness,” the letter continued.
Doctors who assist in a patient’s suicide in the U.K. can face up to 14 years in prison. The British health system nevertheless has won international condemnation for its radical end-of-life practices that led to the recent killings of 2-year-old Alfie Evans and an unnamed Polish man known as RS. An estimated tens of thousands of deaths due to starvation or dehydration have occurred in British hospitals since 2000.
Meanwhile, in Ontario, a doctor recently spoke out about how elderly patients are losing the will to live thanks to draconian lockdowns that have forced them into isolation. Some are requesting assisted suicide, she said.