BY A STAFF REPORTER A LTHOUGH the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill was rejected by the House of Lords, it would certainly not be abandoned by its sponsors, said Cardinal Heenan on Wednesday.
"It is alarming that as many as 40 peers were found to favour it" (it was defeated by 60 votes to 40).
"Those who believe that God is the Author and Lord of Life must not relax. Only the first shots in the battle for life have been fired."
The Bill was introduced into the Lords by Lord Raglan (Labour) on Tuesday. He said there was good reason to believe that opinion generally was favourably disposed towards a change in the law.
People were free to attempt suicide without fear of prosecution. With certain safeguards the Bill would enable people who wished to die, yet were unable to help themselves, to die by the kindly medication administered by another. Member after member rose to oppose the Bill. Lord Brock, a former President of the Royal College of Surgeons. said he had seen many hard and tragic cases from which death would bring a release from suffering, and for that reason he respected the motives of the sponsors of the Bill. But he could not support legalised killing by doctors.
The Bishop of Durham thought the Bill tried to cover too many cases and to range over too wide a field. Lord Longford (Labour), told the House that there was no doubt that voluntary euthanasia
would lead to compulsory euthanasia.
He could not see where it would stop. Once the idea that life was sacred was abandoned people would begin to ask whether the existence of X or Y had any point.
SUPPORTERS But support for the Bill came from Lord Platt, a past President of the Royal College of Physicians. who felt that voluntary euthanasia was right in certain defined circumstances. and from Lord Beaumont of Whitley (Liberal), who re
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