Published: 1st September 2005
In light of the 67% who responded in favour of physician assisted suicide (PAS) to the Telegraph YouGov poll on 'life, death and medical ethics', CMF is calling on Christians to educate themselves on the issues and to persist in standing firm against this latest indication of a move down the 'slippery slope'.
There is no principle difference between PAS and euthanasia argues Andrew Fergusson, euthanasia advisor to the CMF in the summer edition of CMF's Triple Helix magazine.
In his review of the Oregon experience (where PAS, but not euthanasia has been legalised), Fergusson warns against the dangers of adopting a similar position here: 'The key concept is intention. In both PAS and euthanasia what the doctor means to do is to bring about the death of the patient. He or she is the moral agent without whom the death could not happen. PAS is simply euthanasia “one step back”'.
The House of Lords is due to debate the select committee report on Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill on 10th October, and Lord Joffe is expected to introduce a new bill along the lines of the Oregon model shortly afterwards.
The CMF are strongly opposed to any such bill. As Fergusson has concluded, 'Both the principled and practical arguments confirm that PAS must be resisted and the experience from Oregon provides no reliable reassurance whatsoever'.
Other highlights of Triple Helix, which is published quarterly, are 'Problem drinking: The bigger picture' 'Children living with AIDS', and 'Mischief at the BMA'.
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
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.