Debate on the Assisted Dying Bill

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Over the past few months I have been contacted by hundreds of constituents about the highly sensitive issue of assisted dying.

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.

I went into the debate on Friday 11th September with an open mind. After carefully listening to arguments on both sides as well as listening to the views of hundreds of constituents who have written to me on this issue, I decided to vote in favour of the bill proceeding to committee stage for further debate.

Although the bill was defeated by a majority of 212, I felt I made the right decision voting for this bill as I do believe it deserved further debate and scrutiny.

I support the view of Sir Keir Starmer QC, MP for Holborn & St Pancras and Former Director of Public Prosecutions that argues that preventing people wishing to die from gaining access to professional assistance is an injustice; and it seems wrong that they can have amateur assistance from their nearest and dearest but they cannot have professional help in that desire, unless they've got the money and the physical ability to get to Dignitas.

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commented 2015-09-13 15:09:17 +0100
Thank you Catherine, I appreciate you voting for this bill, despite it being rejected. It was a bitter disappointment, but not unexpected. I also want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with myself and my neighbour to hear our own stories and thoughts on the issue.

Catherine West MP

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