BY Ryan McDougall | April 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

A woman holds up a sign during a rally against assisted suicide in 2016 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. In a Toronto speech, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has urged Canadians to work to reverse euthanasia rulings. (CNS photo/Art Babych) See CANADA-MULLER-EUTHANASIA May 17, 2017.

Church asks Catholics to back MSPs’ stand against assisted suicide

The Church has urged Catholics to support a group of cross-party MSPs who have spoken out against plans to introduce assisted suicide in Scotland.

In a letter sent last week to a national newspaper, Labour MSPs Elaine Smith, Mark Griffin and Neil Bibby, Conservative MSPs Jeremy Balfour, Donald Cameron, Murdo Fraser and Gordon Lindurst, SNP MSP John Mason and Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles, said plans to introduce assisted suicide would ‘send out mixed messages.’

 

A source of sorrow

“We regard suicide as a cause for grief. The Scottish Government has a suicide prevention strategy, and for good reason,” the letter reads.

“Suicide can have a devastating effect on those left behind, and only those who have experienced the loss of somebody else close in this way can imagine the pain suffered.”

It suggests that the state would be ‘sending out mixed messages’ should it decide that suicide should be assisted in certain circumstances, and that ‘society should be preventing suicide, not assisting it.’

 

Opposing group

The letter follows on from a fresh campaign by another group of MSP’s to introduce assisted suicide.

The Scottish Parliament has previously voted against the measure.

Responding to the letter, Anthony Horan, director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, expressed his gratitude to the MSPs fighting against a change in legislation.

The Catholic Parliamentary Office has provided a template people can use to write to their MSP, which states that legalising assisted suicide would ‘change how we view healthcare’ and cites case studies of a US woman and a Canadian man with serious health conditions, whose respective health insurers refused to pay for their treatment and home care and instead offered to fund their assisted suicides.

 

John Mason MSP

Mr Horan also asked that opponents of assisted suicide contact their local MSP in support of a motion against assisted suicide lodged by John Mason MSP.

Mr Mason’s motion in the Scottish Parliament cites countries such as Canada, the US and Australia, where assisted suicide has recently been made legal, and adds that ‘Scotland should not just follow what it sees as the current fashion’ and that ‘dying is a serious matter worthy of proper recognition and discussion.

The Catholic Parliamentary Office template can be found at www.rcpolitics.org

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