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News – Mercy killings

March 2010

Mercy killings


Dr Peter Saunders, head of the Christian Medical Fellowship, has spoken out against the trend of public softening to mercy killings.

      Speaking on Premier Radio about whether those who assist their loved ones to die should be protected by law, Dr Saunders said: ‘Parliament has looked at this twice over the past four years, and both times it has rejected on grounds on public safety.

      ‘I worry about the elderly, sick and disabled people being put under pressure to end their lives. The law is very clear and right and provides a deterrent to exploitation and abuse. It would be impossible to change it in such a way that safeguards will work and stop collateral damage to vulnerable people’.

      His comments came after a media storm broke out after a mother who killed her daughter suffering from chronic ME was set free, while another mother who tried twice to kill her severely ill son was sent down.

      Leading celebrities chipped in too, with Sir Terry Pratchett who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease calling for permission for terminally ill people to end their lives helped by loved ones.

      The Archbishop of York has condemned the campaign to legalise mercy killings, which he feels will open the door to abuse of disabled and vulnerable people. Final guidelines on assisted suicide are expected to rule out prosecution for those who help loved ones to die, when they are published by Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, later this month.



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