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Euthanasia bill is blocked by Lords.

EUTHANASIA for terminally ill patients was blocked when the Lords vetoed right-to-die legislation.

Peers blocked a new law to allow doctors to prescribe fatal doses of drugs for patients in unbearable pain amid fears that it would be open to abuse.

As emotions ran high, the Lords yesterday voted to delay the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill for six months. Success for the wrecking amendment comes despite a poll which suggested there was public support for the proposed law.

Bishop of Liverpool James Jones spoke against the Bill, tabled by Lord Joffe, amid strong opposition from church leaders. He said the legislation would have changed "the moral, legal, religious and cultural landscape of England and Wales." As the debate unfolded in the Lords, campaigners gathered in Westminster for a day of protests, dismissed by Lord Joffe as " scaremonger ing".

Supporters of Care Not Killing, which represents more than 30 charities and health-care groups, handed in a petition at 10 Downing Street signed by more than 100,000 people.

Jane Campbell, convenor of the Not Dead Yet (NDY) campaign, said not a single disabled people's organisation had come out in favour of the Bill.

She said attention should be directed towards improving care to allow terminally ill people to reach the end of their lives with dignity.

A Royal College of Physicians poll showed 73% of members were against any change in the law.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 13, 2006
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