Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

UK Right-to-Die Bill Tabled for Fourth Time

From LifeSite

Despite dropping voluntary euthanasia and providing an opt-out for doctors, Lord Joffe has tabled his bill apparently because he does not believe he has the votes.

British doctors have won an agreement to include an opt-out clause in legislation in the House of Lords that would legalize assisted suicide. The changes make the bill less onerous, but pro-life advocates are happy that it will be tabled for a fourth time.

Under the provision, doctors opposed to helping terminally ill patients end their lives would be allowed to refuse to do so.

Euthanasia campaigner Lord Joffe says he will issue a revised version of his assisted suicide bill that includes the "conscientious objector" clause for physicians.

Joffe will also drop voluntary euthanasia from the bill after a committee made a recommendation to do so.

Doctors groups brought up the need for the op-out clause because of concerns they would be forced to bring up assisted suicide as an option for terminally ill patients. They didn't want to encourage patients to take their own lives as a possible option for dealing with their condition.

According to The Guardian newspaper, the bill now says "no person shall be under any duty to raise the option of assisted dying with a patient."

"It has always been for the patient to ask for assisted dying but what we are making clear is that it is not necessary for a doctor to raise assisted dying with a patient if he or she does not want to do so," Lord Joffe told the British newspaper.

The bill also drops the requirement that doctors refer a patient requesting information about assisted suicide to another doctor who doesn't have reservations about the grisly practice.

This is good news, but it seems like it will just be a matter of time before Lord Joffe gets this bill passed. He certainly is persistant.
papijoe 8:38 AM