Update: looks like the coverage on the radio was even worse.
Click onto the main BBC page at the time of writing and ' 'Strong case' for assisted dying' is the main headline alongside the continuing story of the Stephen Lawrence investigation. Thinking that maybe this was some key report by the BMA, I clicked through to the story. It's no such thing.
The story itself is about a report by a 'group of experts'. It turns out the 'group of experts' are a group of supporters of euthanasia, gathered together by Charlie Falconer (who's twice tried to get assisted dying put into law via the Lords) and funded by Terry Pratchett, a noted public supporter of assisted dying.
This is the equivalent of the church of England appointing a group of bishops to investigate whether praying is a good thing, and reporting back that, well I never, actually it is.
There's a fairly direct statement already up on the Church of England website in response to the report, it begins:
The 'Commission on Assisted Dying' is a self-appointed group that excluded from its membership anyone with a known objection to assisted suicide. In contrast, the majority of commissioners, appointed personally by Lord Falconer, were already in favour of changing the law to legitimise assisted suicide. Lord Falconer has, himself, been a leading proponent for legitimising assisted suicide, for some years.
Rarely is the CofE press machine so quickly out of the blocks. The main issue is whether a system of safeguards can be created which enables assisted suicide for those who want it, whilst protecting those who might be vulnerable. Buried away in the BBC report is a statement from the BMA, which doesn't support assisted suicide. One might have thought their opinions would be nearer the top of the page.
Which brings me back to the BBC. They've been very careful not to step over the line on this one, but here we have a public service broadcaster, financed by the license payer. Whenever there has been an attempt in Parliament to get pro-euthanasia legislation passed, the BBC has put up a cluster of sympathetic programmes. The most recent, and most blatant, was the Terry Pratchett letter, chaired by the Dimbleby dynasty, to an audience of the great and the good. No questions, no debate, no alternative view put forward. And with the arguments being presented very personally, that makes it very hard to dispute them without looking heartless and mean. But there's no question that the BBC has an agenda here, and it's systematic enough to reach the headline writers for their web page.
Piece from the Independent earlier this week, in favour of the proposals, and focusing on Lord Blair, former police chief and commission member. A Carers Journey picks out some of the key bits.
Care not Killing on the makeup of the commission, and response to the report.
Same Difference blogging on disability.
Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire
Digital Nun on what this, and the Lawrence trial, say about our attitudes to life and death.
Cranmer, writing yesterday.
Vic the Vicar - very good and thoughtful piece.