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Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide Law Changes Could Put Vulnerable at Risk in UK

Life's Value is Not 'Measured in Terms of 'Usefuless,'' Says Reverend

There is considerable attention being brought to assisted suicide and euthanasia in England recently. Several groups in favor of changing laws concerned with such acts have increased their lobbying of members of the British Parliament and the debate over euthanasia is reaching a fever pitch.

Rev. Dr. Brendan McCarthy, the National Adviser on medical ethics as well as health and social care policy for the Church of England's Archbishops' Council, is warning of a growing sentiment towards assisted suicide would put the elderly and vulnerable- including the mentally unstable- at risk.

"Any weakening of the law on euthanasia would place pressure on vulnerable individuals to 'do the decent thing' and remove themselves from being burdens on their families or on the state," McCarthy said, as reported by the Telegraph.

He added that "a change in the law or in its interpretation would also lend unintended weight to the argument that a person's value is measured in terms of their 'usefulness.'"

McCarthy also highlights the feelings towards supporting assisted suicide stems from the belief in gauging a person's "quality of life" with their activity.

"A compassionate and caring society will affirm the intrinsic value of the lives of each of its members, regardless of their perceived contribution to society … life is of value, even if the individual deems his or her life to be valueless."

Dr. Peters Saunders, regarded as the leading advocate of right-to-life supporters, has cautioned that there will be an increase in the level of activity by those individuals and organizations that are pushing for new laws for those who wish to end their lives.

"Their glossy propaganda inserts are spilling out of commercial publications; they are spending hundreds of thousands; and clearly believe this is their year," Saunders told the Christian Institute.

Even with the onslaught of right-to-die groups such as Dignity in Dying, advocating that those who are at the end of their lives or those who have degenerative ailments should be allowed the option to end their life, the British Medical Association (BMA) is holding firm that everyone is entitled to live the length of their life.

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