Parliament update and Royal College of Physicians member poll on assisted suicide

DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL

A draft of the Domestic Abuse Bill was published by the Government last week. As you will likely recall, this is the piece of legislation that abortion campaigners have made it clear they will be hijacking with an amendment. The goal of this amendment will be to introduce abortion on demand to Northern Ireland and make radical changes to abortion legislation in England and Wales.

The Government has not published a timetable for the Bill, so we do not have firm dates on when the final Bill will be brought forward. What we do know is that a joint committee of both houses will be established shortly to undertake pre-legislative scrutiny. Once this committee has reported, the Government will be introducing the final Bill.

I will keep you updated on the progress of the Bill and will be letting you know when we need you to take actions around this.


WESTMINSTER HALL DEBATE ON LIFE LIMITING DISABILITIES

Jim Shannon MP held a Westminster Hall Debate on “Support for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families.”

This is a very topical area given the pressure that Northern Ireland is coming under to change their abortion legislation to introduce abortion for life-limiting conditions.

There were a number of good contributions to this debate including a segment from Fiona Bruce MP covering testimonies from families who felt pressure from doctors to abort their children with life-limiting conditions.

If you would like to view this video and share it on social media, I have put it up on our Facebook page. You can access it by clicking here.


ATTEMPT BY ASSISTED SUICIDE CAMPAIGNERS TO HIJACK ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) currently holds a position opposing a change in the law to allow assisted suicide in the UK. This same position is held by the Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of General Practitioners, British Medical Association and Association of Palliative Medicine.

Assisted suicide pressure groups have made it clear that the medical establishment’s continued opposition to assisted suicide is ‘continuing to block a change in the law’. They have been campaigning to have these Colleges drop their positions opposing assisted suicide.

On 14 January, the RCP announced that it will be surveying its members and fellows on whether to change its official position on the issue. The RCP Council, which includes high profile assisted suicide campaigners, have come up with what has been described by the College’s former chair of ethics as a ‘sham poll with a rigged outcome’.

The survey will ask members and fellows what position they want the College to take on assisted suicide. It will give them three options: in favour, opposed and neutral. The College has said that it will then automatically adopt a ‘neutral’ position, dropping opposition to assisted dying, unless a 60% supra-majority vote for the College to remain opposed or switch to being in favour.

This approach will virtually guarantee that the College will move to a ‘neutral’ position on assisted suicide – which will provide a very big boost to assist suicide campaigners, insinuating that there has been a shift in medical opinion on this issue.

If you are a member of the wider public and want to ask the RCP to abandon this survey, we have set-up a petition to Andrew Goddard, president of the RCP, which you can sign by clicking the ‘member of the wider public’ button below.

 

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