The website of Right To Life is currently under construction, so here is the statement of its redoubtable Director, Phyllis Bowman:
“The Director of Public Prosecution’s Guidelines on the possible prosecution of people involved in assisted suicide is a scandal. However much he has tried to cloak it, his guidelines outline an interim policy which in effect will make it legal to assist in a suicide – while he holds a public consultation in order to reach a final decision. He is truly playing with fire. We consider that he has exceeded his authority and some of his precautionary requirements do not really hold water.
“It is not the job of Mr Keir Starmer QC (the DPP), nor his superiors, the Law Lords, to change the law. Yet, while admitting that it is not their job to change the law – the DPP has done precisely that, excusing himself in his massive advance publicity campaign with the claim that public opinion is with him. Since when have the judiciary applied the law in this country according to opinion polls? Most surveys show that the public support capital punishment – but this (thankfully) has not swayed Parliament – nor has it resulted in the judiciary running a campaign to bring back hanging! Mr Starmer’s public consultation could well turn into a campaign to change the law on assisted suicide.
“What makes the present situation even more outrageous is the fact that the very clause the DPP is seeking to change in the Suicide Act (1961) was debated through an amendment to the law presented to the House of Lords only in July by Lord Falconer. This was defeated by a substantial majority.
“Nobody could claim that the Peers did not understand the issue. Since 2003 they have had in-depth debates on assisted suicide no less than four times (including a debate resulting from a Select Committee). Two debates resulted in votes showing a substantial majority against easing the law on assisted suicide. The Lord Falconer amendment was defeated by 194 votes to 141. Moreover, the more peers have investigated the issue and examined the results in other countries, as well as the possible effects in the UK, the more determined they have become to oppose it.
“They have little doubt that easing the law against assisted suicide could undermine the rights of the vulnerable, the disabled, the chronically sick and the aged.
“It was made quite clear to Peers by RADAR, the main disability campaign organisation In the UK, that without exception every human rights disability group in the country was opposed to Lord Falconer’s Bill and will oppose any similar attempt to ease the law: from experience they are well aware of how easy it is to undermine the rights of disabled people.
“During every Lords debate the pro-euthanasia lobby has been challenged to present a Bill in the House of Commons. This they have avoided - and they have avoided taking any such action for one reason. They know that they would be defeated. The Leaders of both the Conservatives and the Labour party have made it quite clear that they would oppose any attempts to change the laws on euthanasia or assisted suicide. We know from our lobbying that a majority of their backbenchers would certainly support them. The statement early this week by Ed Balls MP calling on the DPP to be cautious reflects the feelings of a majority of MPs. In our view the proposals are clearly designed to by-pass this opposition.
“We have to be quite clear. We are facing a constitutional crisis: the judiciary seeking to take over from the legislature. It is not only a matter of euthanasia it is a question of whether parliament will sit back and let the judiciary trample over the primacy of parliament.”
The Police and the CPS have been doing this sort of thing for donkey’s years, effectively legalising drugs, lowering the age of consent to 13, and so on.
Still, the Holy Father is to come here next year, probably in the autumn. He will certainly have plenty to preach about.