We expected the Report Stage of the Coroners and Justice Bill to be heard in the House of Commons in two or three weeks’ time. We have just learnt that it has been brought forward to next Monday and Tuesday, 23-24 March.
As well as containing a clause to delete that free-speech amendment from the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, it is likely that a serious attempt will be made to introduce amendments to the Coroners and Justice Bill to legalise assisted suicide.
The recent Purdy case could mislead people into thinking that those who help a relative or friend commit suicide are necessarily doing it from altruistic motives. The Court of Appeal said in its judgment on the Purdy case that “not all cases are as sensitive as this one, and not all cases of assisted suicide represent the final act or acts of love or the culmination of a lifelong loving relationship“.
In other words, some people might want for selfish or malicious reasons to assist relatives to commit suicide.
We believe clear protection for freedom of speech is needed to prevent the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act being used as a pretext to silence Christian views on sexual behaviour, and that it would be wrong to introduce into the Coroners and Justice Bill any amendment to legalise assisted suicide.