The upper house of Britain’s parliament has blocked a controversial law aimed at allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients end their lives.
The assisted dying bill would have let doctors prescribe lethal drugs to patients who are suffering unbearably and have less than six months to live. Lord Joffe of Liddington, the sponsor of the bill, said: “As a caring society, we cannot sit back and complacently accept that terminally ill patients, who are suffering unbearably, just continue to suffer for the good of society as a whole” Opponents, including religious leaders and sections of the medical profession, say the provisions of the draft law could have been open to abuse. Public opinion on the issue seems to be divided. However, a recent Royal College of Physicians poll showed that 73 percent of its members are against any change in the law.