STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

MPs have rejected plans for a right to die in England and Wales in their first vote on the issue in almost 20 years.

In a free vote in the Commons, 118 MPs were in favour and 330 against plans to allow terminally ill adults to end their lives with medical supervision.

In a passionate debate, some argued the plans allowed a “dignified and peaceful death” while others said they were “totally unacceptable”.

Pro-assisted dying campaigners said the result showed MPs were out of touch.

Under the proposals, people with fewer than six months to live could have been prescribed a lethal dose of drugs, which they had to be able to take themselves. Two doctors and a High Court judge would have needed to approve each case. Dr Peter Saunders, campaign director of Care Not Killing, welcomed the rejection of the legislation, saying the current law existed to protect those who were sick, elderly, depressed or disabled. He said: “It protects those who have no voice against exploitation and coercion, it acts as a powerful deterrent to would-be abusers and does not need changing.”

But Sarah Wootton, the chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said it was an “outrage” that MPs had gone against the views of the majority of the public who supported the bill. She added that “dying people deserve better”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34208624

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MPs set to vote on ‘right to die’ for first time in 20 years

Controversial ‘right to die’ laws are to be debated in parliament today for the first time in almost 20 years. Labour MP Rob Marris will introduce the Assisted Dying Bill after coming top of the Private Members’ Bill ballot following the general election.

The legislation, which passed an initial vote in the House of Lords last year but failed to become law, is a first key question of conscience for the new House of Commons. Mr Marris said his Bill was about offering people “choice and dignity”.

In a blog post ahead of the debate, the Wolverhampton South West MP said: “With appropriate, strong safeguards, terminally ill adults of sound mind should be legally allowed to choose to have assistance to end their own lives.”

“I value life, and I do understand that some people believe very deeply that ending one’s own life is always wrong. Nevertheless, the depth and sincerity of their belief should not mean that they deny choice to those of us who do not share their beliefs”. ROB MARRIS MP

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-09-11/mps-set-to-vote-on-right-to-die-for-first-time-in-20-years/?

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Filed under: Dementia, Disabilities, Elderly, Hospital, ,

Lord Carey: Euthanasia for terminally ill is ‘profoundly Christian’

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has attacked the idea that bearing excruciating pain while terminally ill is a “noble thing”, in a message of support for the Assisted Dying Bill.

In a video for campaign group Dignity in Dying Lord Carey insisted it was “profoundly Christian” to allow people to end their lives if they wished to do so, The Daily Telegraph reported. The House of Commons is to debate the Assisted Dying Bill next month. Under the proposals, lethal drugs could be given to patients with less than six months to live if this was their “clear and settled intention” and two doctors agreed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/lord-carey-euthanasia-for-terminally-ill-is-profoundly-christian-10452927.html

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Former Archbishop of Canterbury issues message of support for the Assisted Dying Bill

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Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death – I want to have control of my life – by Virginia Ironside

My mother had always made me promise I would make sure that, if she was terminally ill, she would be snuffed out “like a candle”. She didn’t want to remain guttering till the end. But even in the good old days, when doctors were far more free with the morphine jabs, it was still difficult to get her wishes fulfilled. After another setback in her treatment – my mother had cancer and was talking gibberish most of the time, except when she had a blood transfusion when she’d beg me to get the doctors to end it all – the doctor in charge called me into his consulting room. “Nothing to worry about!” he said breezily. “We’ll have her up and going to the opera and playing tennis in no time at all!”

As any idea of exercise was anathema to my mother, who had twice tried to commit suicide during the previous few years, and since going to the opera was her idea of hell, I broke down. “She doesn’t want to live!” I said. It was to no avail. It was an agonising week later, that a nurse took me aside. “Your mother has no hope,” she said bluntly. “I’m a Roman Catholic, but I beg you to ask the doctors to do something. She is in terrific pain, physical and mental.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/assisted-dying-bill-i-want-to-be-able-to-decide-about-my-own-death–i-want-to-have-control-of-my-life-10012124.html

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Assisted dying will be made legal in UK ‘within two years’

A change in the law that will allow terminally ill people to be helped to end their lives is inevitable and will happen within as little as a couple of years, according to the deputy chair of the British Medical Association (BMA). Speaking in a personal capacity, Dr Kailash Chand has thrown his weight behind Lord Falconer’s private members bill, which would offer assisted dying to terminally ill patients who are deemed mentally capable and are likely to have less than six months to live. On Friday, the House of Lords voted unanimously to accept an amendment to the assisted dying bill, tabled by Lord Pannick and supported by Falconer,  that would see all applications for assisted death subject to judicial oversight. The move was welcomed by campaigners as a major step in changing the law. Chand said it was clear that momentum was now swinging behind those pushing for reform.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/08/assisted-dying-will-be-legal-within-two-years-bma-deputy?guni=Keyword%3Anews-grid+main-1+Main+trailblock%3AEditable+trailblock+-+news%3APosition5

Lord Falconer reveals diet

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