Don’t turn doctors into killers – stand against assisted suicide

1 May 2024

Ben John reports on a demonstration we jointly organised with other campaigners in light of the Westminster debate on assisted suicide and euthanasia, following a concerted high profile campaign calling for a change in the law.

What a joy it was to stand with many outside Parliament to speak for life and not for death this Monday, 29 April.

With very little notice, we saw a good crowd join us in support of life and palliative care. People had travelled from all over England to make their voice heard – not an easy task for the many who joined us with disabilities.

They saw how important it was to oppose the euthanasia lobby which gathered its supporters on the other side of the yard.

In the morning, we led a sobering creative demonstration in conjunction with Distant Voices with the message:

“Don’t make doctors killers.”

The image of doctors and nurses with blood on their hands was a stark warning about what changes to the law about euthanasia and assisted suicide actually means: giving doctors the power and right to kill.

Despite all that the pro-euthanasia and assisted suicide rally could say, and all the euphemisms about “assisted dying” and compassion, it was important to remember that suicide is still suicide and killing is still killing.

In the afternoon, representatives and supporters from a number of different organisations came to join the rally. We are grateful for the many Christian Concern supporters who joined us along with Not Dead Yet, Care Not Killing and other groups.

Nikki Kenward from Distant Voices shared her powerful testimony of being in locked in, in hospital and unable to speak. “…Had someone asked me before … I would have wanted to die. But when I was in hospital, unable to speak, I knew I wanted to live. With a change of the law, I could have been wide awake whilst doctors killed me and unable to stop them.”

She added:

“Everyone talks about safeguards, but where are the safeguards? We all know what has happened with the police. Where are the safeguards in children’s homes or abuse centres? Or in schools with bullying? They are not there! We are opening the door to hell, and it will change how we see society. Are you going to go and see your doctor if you know he has been out in the morning killing his patients? We all know terrible stories of people suffering and dying, but the solution should not be to help get rid of them!”

Andrea Williams said:

“We could actually make doctors those who kill, when in fact medicine is all about doing no harm. We need to be, in this country, a place that is safe, a place that protects. Good law protects. Good law doesn’t allow you to kill people and that is exactly what euthanasia is, that is exactly what assisted suicide is. And really a civilised nation will always do all that it can to protect the most vulnerable. The truth is that no safeguards work; we have seen it in every jurisdiction where euthanasia and assisted suicide has become law. We have seen in every place there is the slippery slope where people feel they are a burden. Where people who feel sad, lonely, or depressed, ask for medical assistance in dying, medical assistance to kill. That should never come to this country and that is why we are standing outside today. … The attempts to change the law in Jersey, Guernsey, Scotland are very serious. There is a very emotive campaign to say there is “dignity in killing”, but that is not dignifying. Dignity is loving someone, caring for them and suffering with them, not killing them.”

Gordon Macdonald from Care Not Killing said:

“We are here to express our concerns about the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia. What happens is that the vulnerable get put at risk and have pressure to end their life. They feel they are a burden to their friends and family. Maybe they are depressed and lonely. These are all reasons why people are opting for assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada and Oregon. If we turn doctors into killers then people feel pressure to die. They may think they are an economic burden. There are terrible cases in Canada where disabled people are being offered euthanasia but not assisted living. Where people who are suicidal are being asked if they have considered euthanasia. … We have managed to stop a change in the law for this long, we cannot give up now, we must continue speaking.”

It was a powerful display of unity in speaking for life in the face of suffering and sickness.

Thank you for the many that did come and for those who have been praying and writing to their MP.

It is vital to continue to speak and teach on the issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide. As Christians we can boldly speak that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and that murder is never justified. We should be willing to do the truly costly – yet far more rewarding – task of stepping into that suffering, not by killing them, but by caring and loving the most sick and vulnerable.

If your church would like a session or talk on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Then we at Christian Concern are happy to help support you in that. Reach out to us here.

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