I appreciate that end of life care and the law concerning assisted dying are extremely complex and emotive issues, and that there are strongly held ethical and moral arguments on both sides.
That is why it is important there is an opportunity for Parliament to debate this issue and to consider the differing views that people hold on assisted dying.
It is welcome, therefore, that the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill is being debated in the Commons today.
This Bill would enable adults who are terminally ill to be provided, at their request, with medically supervised assistance to end their own life.
I, however, do not believe there should be a change in the law to allow assisted dying for terminally ill patients.
I am concerned this could lead to vulnerable elderly or disabled people being pressured to end their life in certain circumstances and that it will not be possible to introduce adequate legal safeguards to prevent potential abuses.
It would also put doctors and/or judges in the incredibly difficult position of deciding on a patient’s right to life.
I will not therefore be supporting the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill in the House of Commons today.
I do, however, believe that much more needs to be done to improve care for those with terminal illnesses, and to support carers who provide essential care to people at the end of life.
This, along with earlier and faster diagnosis of terminal conditions, would also help improve patients’ quality of life at this extremely difficult time.