Euthanasia by the back door
THE draft legislation, Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Bill, which is before the Scottish Parliament, is seen by many as tantamount to the introduction of living wills or advance directives, and as leading to the introduction of euthanasia. By a living will a person appoints what is called a “welfare attorney” perhaps a friend or relative to act on his behalf should he become incapable, and in the will he can state under what circumstances he should be allowed to die. The attorney would then have the legal right to force doctors to carry out the wishes of the incapacitated person, even if this would mean withdrawing all treatment, nutrition and hydration.
Last year the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, claimed that a living will “cannot require a doctor to do anything that is illegal” and that “the Governments opposition to euthanasia is settled, well-known and unqualified”. However, last month he told the Law Society in a speech that doctors will be compelled, under a new law on mental incapacity, to go to court to get permission to keep their patients alive. Doctors will have to obey an attorneys instructions to allow a patient who is incapacitated, to die.
This further development highlights the fact that as Biblical Christianity and morality diminish, so the divine prohibition against unlawful killing, whether by advance directives or euthanasia, is increasingly lost sight of. The Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” forbids not only murder but also taking away ones own life, whether by ones own hand or the hand of another. It is a development which must be resisted.
The Scottish Parliament seeks repeal of the Act of Settlement
A MOTION laid down in the Scottish Parliament describes the Act of Settlement of 1701 as outdated, discriminatory, and having no place in modern society. The motion, which calls on the Government to revoke the Act, was supported by more than half of the 129 MSPs.
The Act, which debars a Roman Catholic from occupying the throne or from marrying an heir to the throne, protects our Protestant constitution with all its associated religious and civil liberties. These, by the grace of God, have been purchased at the cost of even the blood of those who “loved not their lives unto the death”.
While need not surprised at these constitutional developments, but we should be deeply concerned. The ecumenical agenda is dominant, the multi-faith ethos is powerful, and Roman Catholicism is viewed favourably. On the other hand, the Reformed, Protestant, Biblical religion of our forefathers is written off as not only an anachronism but also as offensive and anti-social. History shows that it is not a big step from the marginalising of true religion to the persecution of those who persist in promoting it.