Our vision is that every European society will enable all people to live free from the threat of euthanasia, regardless of age, ethnicity, disability, health, or financial or social position.
We will work throughout Europe, and with like-minded people and organisations across the world.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal across most of Europe. Penalties for breaking the law generally act as a strong deterrent to committing these crimes, whilst giving discretion to prosecutors and judges to show lenience in the most distressing cases.
Laws prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia protect the innocent and the most vulnerable people in our societies from coercion, pressure, and the suggestion that their only or best option is to die, and from being treated by others as candidates for elimination.
Legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia removes that protection and places pressure on vulnerable people and their families to end their lives.
Many people fear being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others. This pressure can especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, or sick, with some falling into despair and depression. Many people feel pressured to help a family member to die. Their voices are rarely heard.
Yet persistent requests for euthanasia are extremely rare if people receive proper care. So our priority must be to ensure that good care addressing people's physical, psychological, and social or human needs is accessible to all.
Pro-euthanasia lobbyists campaign using the circumstances of particularly ill individuals. These 'hard cases' are not representative of most people, and we know that 'hard cases make bad law'.
A law by its nature must be general - once introduced for some it cannot be withheld from others. The great weight of evidence is clear: any law allowing assisted suicide or euthanasia for any group of people will in time be extended to others, regardless of whether it was originally intended for them.
The pressure people feel to end their lives is greatly accentuated in times of economic recession.
Elder abuse, neglect by families, carers and institutions, and the failure to provide adequate healthcare or social care is real, dangerous and well-evidenced.
Only three European countries, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, have legalised euthanasia or assisted suicide (assisted suicide is deemed 'non punishable' in Switzerland).
Parliaments around the world have continued to reject a move towards legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia and continue to protect their most vulnerable citizens and their basic human rights.
Where assisted suicide or euthanasia is legalised, so-called 'safeguards' against abuse do not work and incremental extension inevitably occurs.
The vast majority of individual healthcare professionals, as well as key national medical groupings (such as the British Medical Association in the UK) and international bodies (such as the World Medical Association) are opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
No major Disabled People's Organisation (DPO) favours a law permitting assisted suicide or euthanasia. Special coalitions of disabled people (such as Not Dead Yet in both the US and the UK) oppose any change in the law. Many other DPOs express grave reservations, believing such a law will lead to increased prejudice towards them and increased pressure on them to end their lives.
There is an inappropriate portrayal of suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia in many of European and world media, leading to some 'suicide contagion'. International media guidelines on suicide portrayal must be upheld and complied with.
Public opinion polls are easily manipulated when high media profile (and often celebrity-driven) 'hard cases' are used to elicit emotional reflex responses without consideration of the strong arguments against legalisation.