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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

A city in the United Kingdom has started promoting "right-to-die" cards for its young, healthy residents, earning the condemnation of pro-life organizations who have called it a "move towards legal suicide."


The plan in Salford, near Swinton, has been outlined in a report in the Salford Advertiser, which described the program as "controversial."

Friday, May 09, 2008

'Right-to-die' cards for the healthy

'You have to wonder why public money is being spent on things like this'

The report said cards designating a person's "Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment" already had been available for people suffering from terminal health problems.


But now, "in the first scheme of its kind in the UK," the cards are being made available to the young and the healthy, in fact, anyone.

"Cards can now be picked up from Swinton Library, instructing doctors not to treat a patient should they lose the capacity to make decisions, due to an accident or illness," the report said.


"It's moving towards your legal right to suicide which is something that used to be completely illegal," Josephine Quintavalle, a founding member of the Pro-Life Alliance, told the newspaper.


"It's quite sinister that people are being encouraged to make these decisions now and carry these cards choosing the right to die," she said.


The chief of the city's mental health social work team, however, said it will just allow people to make "informed" choices.


"This is a significant piece of legislation that we have worked hard to make tangible and easily accessible to people, to safeguard them in vulnerable situations," he told the Advertiser.


He described the "solution" as "innovative and practical" as well as "simple and effective."


The card, which a person must carry with them, instructs that in case of an accident or life-threatening emergency, no treatment should be used to sustain life.


Technicalities of such treatment could be included in a statement left with a family member or doctor, officials said.


It will provide people with more control over their future, Dr. Steve Colgan, of the Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust, told the newspaper.


"When someone does become very unwell and no longer has the ability to make sound decisions about their welfare we want to ensure that they still have as much control over their future as possible," he told the Advertiser.


Officials said such an option only became available in the United Kingdom in 2007 with the approval of the Mental Capacity Act.


"It's quite sad to think that you can now carry cards stating your right to die," said Quintavalle. "You have to wonder why public money is being spent on things like this."


Source: WorldNetDaily

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.

David Entwistle, manager of Salford’s mental health social work team with the new cards available at Swinton Library (photo from the Salford Advertiser)