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Christian Legal Centre Press Statement on DPP's Guidelines on Assisted Suicide

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Issued by the Christian Legal Centre

STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

23 September 2009


Christian Legal Centre Press Statement on DPP's Guidelines on Assisted Suicide

The Christian Legal Centre is deeply concerned at the publication by the DPP today, 23rd September, of interim guidelines relating to assisted suicide and factors which will weigh against prosecution.

Although the guidelines will be subject to consultation before becoming fully established policy, the Centre’s Executive Director, Barrister Andrea Williams has serious misgivings.

“Our hearts of course go out to elderly and unwell people who are suffering from horrible medical conditions and to their loved ones. But we believe that all life should be protected in law and that the guidelines published today will cause great harm to individuals and society.

We should learn from other jurisdictions where assisted suicide has been legalised. Very soon, elderly and vulnerable people surveyed by researchers report a shift in perception towards seeing themselves as a burden on their families and being under a ‘duty to die’.

Additionally, we are concerned that the system will be open to abuse and to a creeping, ever-widening application, which has been observed in previous cases in our own legal history where laws have been injudiciously liberalised.

We shall do all we can to raise awareness of these underestimated factors in the run up to the consultation. In other jurisdictions similar laws have soon been abandoned when the damage becomes evident, but only after that damage has been done. We would rather we turned back from this profoundly mistaken policy before that is allowed to happen.”

ENDS.

For further information/interview:
Andrea Minichiello Williams: 077 1259 1164

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