Friday, January 6, 2012

Falconer report on euthanasia 'biased and flawed'.

Pro-life organisations in the UK have roundly condemned the Falconer report as being biased and flawed.
Lord Falconer's report on assisted suicide is worthless, according to the Society for the protection of unborn children. See John Smeaton's BLOG
The report which was prepared according to SPUC,
"by a self-styled commission funded by pro-death activists amounts to a renewed attack on the legal status of disabled and elderly people. The report's conclusions, due to be published in full tomorrow, were summarised earlier this week by Lord Falconer in the Telegraph newspaper.
The commission has been widely discredited as stacked with supporters of assisted suicide. Over 40 organisations, including the British Medical Association (BMA), refused to give evidence to Lord Falconer's "death-for-the-disabled" group."
Paul Tully, SPUC Pro-Life's general secretary, commented:
"Predictably, Lord Falconer's report calls for Parliament to change the law to allow assisted suicide. His group was set up following Parliament's repeated rejections of attempts by Lord Falconer and his ilk to change the law. This is part of a thoroughly nasty strategy to convince the public that many disabled people want to die - and that they are sensible to want to die. Lord Falconer's cooking-up of a dodgy dossier via a stacked panel shows the lengths to which the assisted suicide lobby will go.

They seek to create a two-tier system: people who deserve a right to life, and those who maybe don't. In fact, this shabby exercise was bankrolled by Sir Terry Pratchett, a patron of Dignity in Dying, formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. "Disabled people are justifiably frightened when the protection the law gives them against pressure to end their lives is attacked like this. The moves to undermine their right to life are often accentuated by fawning, uncritical media coverage. The assisted suicide lobby represents a mentality of aversion to people who suffer, and it represents celebrities who have more money than sensitivity. We encourage people to show solidarity with disabled people by dismissing out-of-hand Lord Falconer's thinly-disguised propaganda."
Dr Peter Saunders of Care not Killing in a strong statement said:
This investigation was unnecessary, biased and lacking in transparency and its report is seriously flawed. It is being spun as a comprehensive, objective and independent review into this complicated issue. It is anything but.

This private commission was sponsored by Dignity in Dying, formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, and financed by one of their patrons, with panel members being handpicked by Lord Falconer, a leading advocate of changing the law.

Nine of its eleven members were known backers of assisted suicide with a strong ideological vested interest in this as the outcome. Those with a differing view including representatives from the major disability rights organisations and doctors groups were not invited to join the Commission. The overt bias in the structure of the commission is why over 40 organisations including the British Medical Association and many individuals boycotted the inquiry.

Its terms of reference were drafted to ensure that the final report backed a change in the law and ruled out maintaining the status quo. In the commission’s own words they were to, ‘investigate the circumstances under which it should be possible for people to be assisted to die; recommend what system, if any, should exist to allow people to be, assisted to die; identify who should be entitled to be assisted to die and recommend what changes in the law, if any, should be introduced’.

What the commission is proposing is a less safe version of the highly controversial Oregon law, which sees the terminally ill offered drugs to kill themselves, but not expensive life saving and life extending drugs. It’s so-called ‘proposed safeguards’ are paper-thin and have already been rejected three times in the last six years by British Parliaments. These recommendations if implemented will place vulnerable people under increased pressure to end their lives so as not to be a burden on others. This pressure can be especially intense at a time of economic recession when families and the health service are already feeling the pinch. The so-called right to die can so easily become the duty to die.