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Open Letter - Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill

Published: 21st July 2004

Dear Colleague

Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill - Please act now

The House of Lords has established a Select Committee to consider and report on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill. This Private Member's Bill, introduced by Lord Joffe, seeks to legalise assisted suicide for competent adult patients who are 'terminally ill' and 'suffering unbearably'. Patients who are unable to participate in assisted suicide can receive euthanasia. The bill was given its second reading on 10 March 2004.

CMF is strongly opposed to the bill and is making a submission to the Select Committee on behalf of members recommending that the bill be rejected.

Anyone can write to the committee or make a submission on the bill. So far the Select committee has received thousands of letters from supporters of euthanasia and virtually none from those who oppose legalising euthanasia.

Can I please urge you to write to the committee no later than Friday 3 September 2004 (the closing date for submissions), saying that you are a doctor and stating in your own words why you believe that assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia should not be legalised in this country. If possible please illustrate your points with real clinical cases from your own experience. Letters and emails will not be acknowledged, but all submissions, whether full written evidence or short letters or e-mails, will be taken into account by the Committee.

To respond to the committee:

You can write to the committee at:
Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL]
Committee Office
House of Lords
SW1A 0PW

Or alternatively email to: assisteddyingbill@parliament.uk

You can also write directly to the individual members of the committee at:
The House of Lords
SW1A 0PW

The thirteen members of the Committee are:

Earl of Arran
Lord Carlile of Berriew
Baroness Finlay of Llandaff
Baroness Hayman
Baroness Jay of Paddington
Lord Joffe
Lord McColl of Dulwich
Lord Mackay of Clashfern (Chairman)
Lord Patel
Bishop of St Albans
Lord Taverne
Baroness Thomas of Walliswood
Lord Turnberg

Members' declared interests will soon be available on the Committee's web pages, along with other information about the inquiry:
www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/lordsassisted.cfm

A briefing paper on the Bill can be found on the CMF website at:
www.cmf.org.uk/press/joffebill3.htm

The full text of the Bill is available on the internet at:
Pdf version - http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200304/ldbills/017/2004017.pdf
Html version - http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200304/ldbills/017/04017.iii.html

Many thanks
Yours sincerely

Peter Saunders
General Secretary
Christian Medical Fellowship
6 Marshalsea Road
London
SE1 1HL

For further information:

Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668

Media Enquiries:

Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225

About CMF:

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.

Christian Medical Fellowship:
uniting & equipping Christian doctors & nurses
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