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Dignity in Dying fears Not Dead Yet’s ‘Resistance’ campaign will impose a duty to suffer on terminally ill adults

The Not Dead Yet UK organisation
has today launched a new campaign opposing assisted suicide, funded by Care not
Killing, a pro-life group linked to the Christian Medical Fellowship.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of
Dignity in Dying said:

“Dignity in Dying agrees with
many of the aims of Not Dead Yet UK. We too are concerned about disabled
people becoming vulnerable to coercion, and that is why we campaign for a
transparent and safeguarded assisted dying law which would allow assisted dying
only for terminally ill, mentally competent adults.

“The law we campaign for would
only apply to disabled people who were also terminally ill, mentally competent
and suffering unbearably against their wishes at the end of their lives. We do
not support assisted suicide – where someone who is not terminally ill is
helped to end their life.

“Evidence from jurisdictions
where assisted dying is lawful shows that a safe assisted dying law which does
not impact negatively on vulnerable people is achievable, and that we can
prevent a duty to die whilst also removing the current duty to suffer.

“It’s clear we need to safeguard
the choices of both disabled and non-disabled people who wish their lives to be
prolonged, as well as respecting and safeguarding the wishes of those suffering
at the end of life. But the status quo of people being forced to travel
abroad to die, attempt suicide in their own homes, or ask loved ones to help
them to die causes huge suffering and is unacceptable.

“We welcome this opportunity to
discuss assisted dying, and to debate what safeguards we need in future
assisted dying legislation.”

Notes to

About Dignity
in Dying:

  • Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice,
    control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing
    terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict
    legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life
  • Dignity in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and
    receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.
  • Surveys consistently show that at least 80% of
    the UK population supports a change in the law on assisted dying.
  • Analysis of the 2007 BSA survey found that 75% of
    people with a disability and 81% without were supportive of assisted dying
    for terminally ill people (with 80% overall).
  • Research by Battin et al published in the Journal
    of Medical Ethics in 2007 found no evidence of any heightened risk to
    disabled people in Oregon in the USA where assisted dying for terminally
    ill people has been legal since 1997.


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