Chief Rabbi: ‘Assisted dying bill could put vulnerable people at risk’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Chief Rabbi: ‘Assisted dying bill could put vulnerable people at risk’

Ephraim Mirvis speaks out alongside other senior faith leaders against moves to allow assisted dying in some cases.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

The Chief Rabbi has joined with faith leaders including the Archbishop of Canterbury to warn of the risk of allowing assisted suicide.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, alongside Archbishop Justin Welby, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, spoke today of their “profound disquiet” over the Assisted Dying Bill.

The proposed legislation tabled by Baroness Meecher would legalise assisted suicide for terminally ill people with under six months to live, if successful.

But the trio of faith leaders say the bill would put “very many vulnerable people in more vulnerable positions.”

“We acknowledge that Baroness Meacher is seeking the alleviation of suffering. This motivation we share wholeheartedly, but we disagree on the means advanced to address this very real concern,” say the faith leaders in a letter to peers.

“In particular, we are conscious of the risks and dangers entailed in the provisions of the Bill and the ‘real-life’ practical inadequacies of the proposed safeguards.

“By the faiths we profess, we hold every human life to be a precious gift of the Creator, to be upheld and protected.”

They call for measures to “make high-quality palliative care available to all at the end of their lives,” saying that the “aim of a compassionate society should be assisted living rather than an acceptance of assisted suicide.”

While the Chief Rabbi is opposed to moves to liberalise assisted dying, Liberal Judaism has previously backed calls to change the law.

The Private Member’s Bill is to have its second reading in the House of Lords on Friday, and would require two doctors and a senior judge to assess each request for assisted dying.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments