Unfortunately due to existing commitments on 4th July, I was unable to attend the debate on assisted dying, but I will be sure to read the transcript of the debate.
This issue was last considered by the House of Commons in September 2015. It’s such an emotive subject, so it won’t surprise you to learn that I have received many letters and emails from constituents. I’m also sure it won’t surprise you either to learn that the split between the arguments for and those against is pretty evenly balanced.
In 2015, I felt that I could not support the changes to the law on assisted dying. It is clearly a difficult issue and if I can put it this way, my head says “no”, but my heart says “yes”. On the last occasion, I felt that there were not sufficient safeguards in place.
Since becoming an MP in 2015, I have listened carefully to both sides of the argument and attended briefings on the subject so I could hear from experts who sit on both sides of the debate. I will continue to do this.
The debate was an opportunity to consider the issues but it was a debate rather than a specific attempt to change the law. If in the future there are specific measures designed to change the law, I will want to consider carefully the specific proposals, the safeguards and how any changes would work in practice. You have my assurances that I will listen to every opinion, examine the evidence and will not rush into a decision. The consequences if we get it wrong are huge.