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World News

Christian campaigners 'relieved' as House of Lords rejects a move to introduce assisted dying legislation

by Premier Journalist

Christian campaigners have welcomed the defeat in the House of Lords of a move to introduce assisted suicide legislation. 

On Wednesday, peers debated an amendment to the Health and Care Bill lodged by Lord Forsyth. 

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean said: "My amendment is absolutely not about the merits of the case for legalising assisted dying.

"It is about ensuring this Parliament is given the opportunity to properly debate this issue."

If passed, No10 would have been required to present a draft Assisted Dying Bill to Parliament within a year.

But the amendment was rejected by 179 votes to 145. 

Ross Hendry, CEO of CARE, which campaigns against assisted suicide, said the attempt to amend the Bill was "highly cynical". 

"First, it sought to use vital health and care proposals as a Trojan horse and second, it sought to force the government's hand on a highly contentious matter, that should rightly be left to parliament." 

He continued: "We recognise that there are strong feelings on both sides of the debate concerning 'assisted dying', and that many proponents are motivated by compassion. 

However, unsafe, and unethical interventions are not the answer. The prescription of lethal drugs is not a moral response to suffering and permitting it would undermine the safety, dignity, and equality of many groups." 

Welcoming the result The Christian Institute's Ciarán Kelly said it had prevented "a real threat to the lives of vulnerable people".

"The proposal clearly breached the Sixth Commandment and denied the value of every person, as an individual made in the image of God."

According to a Yougov poll eight in ten people would like the Government, to debate the issue before the next election in 2024.

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