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Dignity in Dying’s reaction to the PM’s views on assisted dying for the terminally ill, 30/12/2008

Media statement

30th December 2008

Dignity in Dying’s reaction to the PM’s views on assisted dying for the terminally ill

On the Today Programme this morning, in an interview with the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, stated that he was “totally against” changing the laws on assisted dying. Commenting, the Head of Campaigns and Communications at Dignity in Dying, James Harris, said:

“It should not be for Gordon Brown or Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor to decide when a dying adult’s suffering should end, within safeguards, it should be a decision for the dying adult themselves.

“The Prime Minister is out of step with public opinion. Not only is there no evidence of abuse in countries which have legalised assisted dying for the terminally ill, research shows that people are in fact better protected by a more compassionate and regulated approach to end-of-life decision making.

“Maintaining the status quo will lead to more people travelling aboard to die, ‘mercy killings’ and botched and violent suicide attempts. Dignity in Dying believes that this is unacceptable and that Parliament should debate this issue as a matter of urgency”


Notes to editor:

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 care.
– Dignity in Dying has over 100,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.
– Opinion polls consistently show that at least 80% of the UK population supports a change in the law on assisted dying.

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