Saturday, 5 September 2015

Sir Keir Starmer on the Assisted Dying debate - a cross party approach that supports my own views

Last Sunday I wrote about my own views on the Assisted Dying debate - I will be voting in favour of a change of the law next Friday. But the arguments in favour of a change in the law are cross party. The former Director of Public Prosecutions and now Labour MP Sir Keir Starmer had this to say:

'The law needs to be changed. The important thing is to have safeguards,'

He said Crown Prosecution Service guidance does not deal with the problem of 'people wanting to end their lives in this country, medically assisted, rather than traipse off to Switzerland', adding 'The present guidelines have in-built limitations … there can be injustice in a number of cases.'

Research by the Dignity in Dying campaign group shows 166 Britons travelled to Dignitas to end their lives in the six years to last December. Under current guidelines, doctors are not allowed to help, which means a chronically ill person may have to ask a family member or friend to help them.

Parliament is now set to vote on proposals, led by Labour MP Rob Marris, that would give terminally ill people the right to end their lives. The Bill is expected to be debated on September 11 and it will give MPs the first vote on the issue since 1997.