MP Attacks Mercy Killing Bill; Legislation Would Harm Society, Commons Told

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Byline: ROBERT MERRICK Political Correspondent

A BILL to legalise euthanasia would send the wrong message that ``life is disposable'', MP Claire Curtis-Thomas told a parliamentary inquiry yesterday.

The Labour MP for Crosby attacked legislation drawn up by an independent peer to allow terminally ill people to kill themselves to end their suffering.

The Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill has been backed by the widow of Merseyside pensioner Reg Crew, a motor neurone sufferer who flew to Switzerland to commit patient-assisted suicide.

But Ms Curtis-Thomas, of the all-party pro-life group at Westminster, told the inquiry that society should ``celebrate the spirit of an individual, not the body''.

She said: ``If we legalise euthanasia, we send an incredibly poor signal to the rest of society about the disposability of life.

``I therefore concur with the view that legislation in this area would do us greater harm than it would do greater good. ''

Ms Curtis-Thomas, who has told how her paralysed mother changed her mind about wanting to be left to die, added that ``physical difficulties could and should be overcome''. She said: ``What should be celebrated is the spirit of the individual, not the body. If the body lets you down, does that really make a difference. ''

The Crosby MP said the pro-life lobby was not doing enough to ``advertise'' the love and care that was given to the terminally ill in hospices. …