Muslim Council Responds to Assisted Dying Bill

  • All faiths call for Assisted suicide to remain illegal in Britain
  • Life should be preserved, cherished and protected
  • Judging end of life remains controversial and inaccurate

Members of the House of Lords will debate tomorrow, (18th July), Lord Falconer’s Bill on Assisted Dying. The Muslim Council of Britain joins other faith communities and doctors in believing that assisted suicide must not be made legal in Britain. A proposed bill to legalise assisted dying will, in our collective view, fundamentally shift the emphasis away from the preservation of life, which should be cherished and protected, to viewing life as a commodity, to be dispensed with when deemed of little value.

Safeguards should be put in place for most vulnerable

Those individuals approaching the end of their life are amongst the most vulnerable in society; their rights should be safeguarded and they should be protected against possible abuse. This bill puts at risk those fundamental rights. A number of safeguards incorporated in the bill fail to suitably guard against changing complex medical circumstances. Judging when a life is approaching its end remains a controversial and inaccurate science, as patient capacity can often fluctuate at this time. Ascertaining proper consent in these difficult clinical circumstances remains very challenging. Proponents of the bill raise valid concerns around end of life care, concerns that can be better addressed through the better provision of palliative care targeted to individual patient need.