Baroness Meacher’s Assisted Dying Bill has failed. This leaves the frustrating prospect of no debates, votes or upcoming legislation in parliament on assisted dying. A recent ONS study revealed that serious health conditions more than double the suicide rate, further showing the need for a compassionate, safeguarded assisted dying law.
The assisted dying bill in the House of Lords has fallen because the Government would not allow parliamentary time to debate it. The bill received over 200 amendments at the Committee Stage, and as it will not be included in the next parliamentary session the bill automatically falls. My Death, My Decision, along with Humanist UK, submitted an amendment calling for the creation of an inquiry into the impact of this proposed assisted dying legislation for people who are of sound mind and not terminally ill but suffering intolerably with an irreversible physical condition.
The Government claims to take a neutral position on assisted dying, but simultaneously refuses to give enough time for this important issue to be debated and voted on. This is a de-facto opposition to assisted dying and keeps our broken law in place.
An assisted dying inquiry would equip parliamentarians with the necessary knowledge to conduct an informed debate and vote on this important issue. The clear majority of the public wants a compassionate assisted dying law and for the government to respect their autonomy.
Trevor Moore, Chair of My Death, My Decision, said:
“The failure of the Meacher Bill is a reflection of the government’s refusal to engage with the critical social justice issue of assisted dying. If the government will not introduce legislation in Parliament, we call upon it instead to establish a parliamentary inquiry and implement its recommendations. That way, it can remain neutral.
An inquiry would enable expert evidence to be heard from other countries that have assisted dying, providing also the opportunity to test the often alarmist claims of opponents. With multiple jurisdictions now considering or about to implement an assisted dying law, England and Wales is being left behind. This needs to be remedied without delay, because inaction protracts unnecessary suffering.”
For any more information or comment please contact My Death, My Decision at: email@example.com.
Read more about My Death, My Decision’s campaign for an inclusive change in the law: https://www.mydeath-mydecision.org.uk/
My Death, My Decision is a grassroots non-profit organisation that campaigns for a balanced and compassionate approach to assisted dying in England and Wales. As a growing movement, we are at the forefront of social change: nearly 90% of the public now favours a change in the law to allow adults of sound mind, who are either terminally ill or facing incurable suffering, the option of a peaceful, painless, and dignified death.