Monday, April 13, 2009

Euthanasia lecture cancelled

RTE news report that the controversial public lecture on euthanasia which was to be delivered at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Holy Thursday by guest speaker Prof Len Doyal (See previous BLOG) was cancelled minutes after it began when a group of protestors disrupted it. Witnesses report that at the commencement of the lecture a group of over 20 people stood up and began shouting and that some began to pray. Professor Doyal was also accused of being a murderer. The lecture entitled 'Why Euthanaia should be legalised'was cancelled on public safety grounds.

Len Doyal who is Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London and a member of the BMA Ethics Committee, is an open proponent of both voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia. Professor Doyal had to be escorted from the lecture theatre at Cork University Hospital by security staff.

Professor Doyal was reported in a medical news today article in 2006 as saying "Some supporters of euthanasia remain silent about non-voluntary euthanasia, presumably because they believe that focusing on voluntary euthanasia offers a better chance of legalisation. Yet in doing so, they ignore important arguments for their own position." He continued "If doctors are now allowed control - and should be able to exert even more control over - the deaths of severely incompetent patients, why should competent patients not be able to control the circumstances of their own deaths if this is what they wish? "Proponents of voluntary euthanasia should support non-voluntary euthanasia under appropriate circumstances and with proper regulation”.

Euthanasia is contrary to natural law, contrary to Irish law and infringes the 5th commandment “Thou shalt not kill”.

Serious questions arise as to why the ethics committee in a teaching hospital decided to arrange a lecture on the subject of euthanasia at all but more particularly the arrangement of a one sided presentation without even the balance of have an alternative viewpoint.