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ss CMF news - spring 2006,  Ethics


Our main focus currently is Lord Joffe's Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, which is due for its second reading (debate stage) in the House of Lords on 12 May, the day after the anniversary of Diane Pretty's death from motor neurone disease. As featured in the CMF News editorial and in Triple Helix, CMF has played a major role in the formation of the Care Not Killing Alliance, formed to oppose this legislation and other attempts to weaken the laws on euthanasia. All CMF graduate members will have already received their Spring mailing with a complimentary copy of the DVD 'Doctors speak on Assisted Dying' which features several CMF members. Please make good use of these in your churches and amongst colleagues so that the strong arguments against any change in the law are heard and ask for more copies of the DVD and leaflet on Assisted Suicide from the CMF office at

A major debate on Lord Joffe's Bill on 13 March attracted around 400 people to the Middle Temple Hall in London and resulted in a resounding defeat for supporters of the Bill.We remain confident that when the arguments are given airspace people do understand why any change in the law would be foolish. It is part of our responsibility to ensure that our case is really heard and that the public is not simply left at the mercy of scaremongering media soundbites highlighting the experiences of those who died without optimal palliative care.

Meanwhile the Government has launched its consultation on the draft codes for the Mental Capacity Act and the Law Commission a review on the Homicide law including a reconsideration of penalties for mercy killing. These are both potential back door routes for euthanasia and CMF will be making formal submissions. Please pray that sanity prevails and that sound judgments are made.

The government's defeat over key amendments to the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill is a cause for great rejoicing and praise to God. Many people were praying throughout this process and the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship in particular worked tirelessly meeting with individual MPs to secure a victory. It is a great testimony to what prayer together with effective high level lobbying can do.
John Wyatt is Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics at UCL and Senior Researcher at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, University of Cambridge. He is currently leading a multidisciplinary research project into the social, philosophical and religious implications of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics,based at the Faraday Institute. He is also the President of CMF

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