The Archbishop of Canterbury, senior officials of the Church of England, and a group of leading British physicians have announced plans to oppose a proposal to legalize “voluntary euthanasia” in Britain.

As The Times [London] reports:

Archbishop of Canterbury will lead the opposition in the House of Lords this week to a bill that aims to allow voluntary euthanasia.

Rowan Williams, backed by the Archbishop of York and the 24 other Anglican bishops who sit in the House of Lords, will argue that legalising “assisted dying” would be a dangerous moral watershed for Britain.

Further, from The Telegraph [London]:

Senior doctors have joined the opposition to Lord Joffe’s Bill that would allow them to help terminally ill patients to die.

Twenty-four consultants who specialise in palliative care say that the attempt to legalise assisted suicide is a “bad solution to a difficult problem”.

In a strongly argued letter to The Daily Telegraph they say that the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, which has its second reading in the Lords on Friday, is deeply flawed.

They say the Bill “overturns without a thought the medical ethic of avoiding malevolence and the criminality of assisting suicide” and they fear that if passed it would “open the floodgates”.

Dr Steve Dyer, a palliative care consultant at St Peter and St James Hospice, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, who organised the letter, said: “This Bill is at variance with the well-received principles of the care of the dying. We respect the views, the dignity and the autonomy of our patients but we do not believe it is right to end a patient’s life.”

This shows moral discernment on the part of the church leaders and leading doctors. The group Care Not Killing is also offering moral guidance in Great Britain as this debate unfolds.