Assisted Dying Bill

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I’m a supporter of the Assisted Dying Bill. I’m able to say that because I’m independent, this is my website and I can state my views freely.

And that’s pretty much how the debate will go through Parliament – with MPs being free to vote with their conscience, not follow the party line.

I care about the Assisted Dying Bill because, after a stroke, my dad asked me if I’d ‘take him to Switzerland’ in the event of another stroke that left him completely incapacitated. It is currently illegal to help someone achieve their death. Taking them abroad where it is legal is a grey area. Noone has been prosecuted for assisting in this way but it’s a potential. Of course I would have helped my dad, risking prosecution, even though I would have found it a hideously hard challenge. I knew I would take him because I know that I’d want to be able to decide when enough’s enough for myself in that situation.

And that’s what the Assisted Dying Bill is about. Choice. Control. Legal options.

FACTS

  • 7 out of 10 people in the UK support the right to die
  • every fortnight one person from the UK travels to Switzerland to die
  • for every person who travels abroad, 10 terminally ill people in the UK take their own lives.

Dignity in Dying is the campaigning organisation on the progress of the Bill with suggestions of how you can support the Bill. (I’m always happy to listen to views from the other side if anyone wants to share those.)

Progress report on the Assisted Dying Bill
by Sarah Wootton Chief Executive, Dignity in Dying

“Following on from the success at Second Reading in the House of Lords back in July, the Assisted Dying Bill still has some way to go. The Bill is currently making its way through the remainder of its stages in the House of Lords, a process that then needs to be repeated in the House of Commons before it becomes law.

“We are now less than a year from the General Election, to be held on 7 May next year.

“While MPs may not get a chance to vote on the Bill before the election, in the run up to the General Election it is important that parliamentary candidates understand that change is on the horizon and that a significant number of their potential constituents support a change in the law on Assisted Dying.

“In the coming weeks and months, and with an increasing frequency as we approach the General Election, you are likely to be contacted by parliamentary candidates seeking your vote.

“Please use the opportunity to express:

** Your support for a change in the law on Assisted Dying.

** Your hope that if elected they will help enact a law to provide greater choice and protection at the end of life.

“The Government and Opposition have indicated that they consider this issue not to be an issue for party politics but a matter of conscience for individual politicians. As such we would like to see a commitment from all parliamentary candidates both now and after the General Election to changing the law so that dying people do not have to suffer against their wishes.”

Read more about Assisted Dying.

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