#TOTW (from 18-07-14): ‘Assisted dying law would lessen suffering says Falconer’

I make no apologies for returning yet again to the subject of assisted dying for my weekly blog update. It couldn’t really have been on anything else, given the events that have taken place. So my #TOTW was actually one of my own, following the passing of the second reading of Lord Falconer’s assisted dying bill in the Lords:

What great news! Common sense has prevailed and now more detailed scrutiny of the bill can take place

It was indeed great news that the Lords had a full day of meaningful debate on what has to be one of the most important ethical matters of our time – the whole issue of how we should have the choice to decide when we’ve had enough and want to call time on our own life. That’s the whole point of this debate. Fundamentally it comes down to an individual’s own choice to decide when they want to die, and not to go on suffering needlessly for months on end, until finally the body gives in and succumbs to the inevitable. The bill – which I have read (link below) – is about providing the individual with the choice to call time on their own life. This, I believe will not be the “slippery slope” that some opponents have suggested it might be. It does not mean that all of a sudden many people are going to want to go ahead with it. What it would do though is give people, that are of sound mind, the right and choice to end their suffering. There is so much that could be said about what has happened, but I like to keep these blogs relatively short, in the hope that people will read all of them and come back for more!

Suffice as to say, even though there is very little likelihood of this particular bill becoming law in this parliament, at least it has now passed to the committee stage in the Lords, where it will be scrutinised in much more detail. This can only be a good thing, and will give those both for and against such a law, the chance to really take a closer look at exactly what it is Lord Falconer is proposing. I will be following this discussion with keen interest, and will no doubt return to the subject for future blogs.

If you haven’t already, then I would ask that those of you who are interested, take the time to read the bill itself:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/assisteddying.html

It’s a very emotive topic, with understandable arguments on both sides. However, it all boils down to personal choice. The right of someone that is of sound mind to choose the time of their own passing.

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