Archbishop Criticises Bid to Alter Euthanasia Law; Legalising Help with Suicide Branded 'Morally Wrong'

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), June 5, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Archbishop Criticises Bid to Alter Euthanasia Law; Legalising Help with Suicide Branded 'Morally Wrong'


Byline: Ben Glaze

THE Archbishop of Cardiff yesterday condemned "morally wrong" attempts to change the law on euthanasia.

The Most Reverend Peter Smith criticised an amendment to a Bill going through Parliament which would protect families and friends from prosecution if they helped a terminally ill patient travel abroad to a suicide clinic.

Archbishop Smith, who is vice-president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said: "Legalising assistance with suicide is morally wrong in itself and would put vulnerable people at grave risk.

"Furthermore, to attempt to bring it about by tagging an amendment onto a government Bill designed for completely different purposes is a totally inappropriate way of seeking to legislate on such a matter."

The 65-year-old church leader was last year tipped to become the top Roman Catholic in Wales and England following the retirement of Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. He was eventually succeeded by the Most Rev Vincent Gerard Nichols.

Archbishop Smith, who was born in Battersea, south-west London, and studied law at Exeter University, was ordained in 1972 and became Archbishop of Cardiff in 2001.

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Archbishop Criticises Bid to Alter Euthanasia Law; Legalising Help with Suicide Branded 'Morally Wrong'
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