Campaign launched to stop assisted suicide

(Photo: iStock/Andrei_R)

A nationwide campaign has been launched in the run-up to the general election asking parliamentary candidates to stand against assisted suicide.

Right to Life UK is mobilising voters to contact their local MP candidates and ask them to sign the End of Life Protection Pledge. 

The pledge asks candidates to commit to protecting the vulnerable by voting against attempts to introduce assisted suicide or euthanasia, and instead endorse properly funded, quality palliative care. 

The campaign has been launched following fresh attempts in Parliament to change the law on assisted suicide. 

Recent polling of MPs by YouGov found that only 35% of MPs support changing the law to allow doctors to assist in the suicide of someone suffering from a terminal illness. 

Polling of doctors specialising in palliative care has also revealed strong opposition the legalisation of assisted suicide - 82% of members of the Association for Palliative Medicine and 83% of doctors surveyed by the British Medical Council are opposed.

Nearly two thirds (62%) of people living with a disability polled by the charity SCOPE expressed concern that a change in the law would lead to increased pressure on people with disabilities to end their lives prematurely.

Half the general population (51%) has expressed concerns about terminally people feeling pressured to end their lives, according to polling by ComRes.

The Vote to Do No Harm is asking MPs to commit to plugging the £77m funding gap currently faced by hospices across the country to ensure that terminally ill people have access to quality palliative care at the end of their lives.

A 2022 briefing to Parliament estimated that some 100,000 people are unable to access the palliative care they need each year.  

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: "In the next Parliament, we expect the assisted suicide lobby to return with new attempts to introduce assisted suicide.

"We are urging voters to engage with their local MP candidates and advocate for the protection of the most vulnerable in our society this election.

"There is currently a major gap in the provision of palliative care services in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that over 100,000 people who need palliative care die each year without receiving it.

"The UK needs properly funded high-quality palliative care for those at the end of their life, not assisted suicide."