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British Lords debate right-to-die

LONDON, May 12 (UPI) -- The Archbishop of Canterbury is asking Britain's House of Lords to reject a proposal to allow doctors to help the terminally ill die.

Rowan Williams says the measure would undermine one of the main tenets of medicine, the duty to care for the most vulnerable.

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The bill was drawn up by Lord Joel Goodman Joffe, a crossbench peer. Supporters estimate the bill would lead to the deaths of 650 terminally ill patients annually.

Williams argues there's no way to be objective about when it is appropriate to allow a patient to die.

"If I had to judge whether or not my mother's suffering was 'unbearable,' I wouldn't have known how to come to a reasonable conclusion," he said in a sermon at Westminster Abbey earlier this week, The Telegraph reported.

"Once we let go of the principle that everyone deserves care and respect, we are in uncharted territory," said Williams.

"Despite protestations to the contrary, everyone in this House knows that those who are moving this bill have the clear intention of it leading to voluntary euthanasia," Lord Alexander Charles Carlile said in arguing against the measure Friday.

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A YouGov survey indicates 75 percent of those queried support the bill, while 13 percent are opposed.

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