Assisted Dying

Part of Sale of New Petrol and Diesel Cars and Vans – in the House of Commons at 2:23 pm on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles Independent, Grantham and Stamford 2:23 pm, 4th July 2019

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. It is incredibly important to understand all the concerns raised, perhaps especially those from such groups. What I think drives that very understandable concern is the fear that although a law might start off tightly constrained, there will be what people refer to as “the slippery slope”, and it might then be abused somehow: there might be situations in which people come under pressure to take their own lives when, in fact, they do not want to do so at all.

All I would say to the hon. Lady—I am happy to have further conversations with her about this—is that in jurisdictions such as Oregon, where for 20 years now there has been a law of the kind that was proposed here, there is no evidence of that slippery slope argument leading to people being put under pressure. If ever there were to be such a change of the law here, it would of course be essential to have safeguards that would prevent that and ensure that disabled people knew they had the same right to life as any of us, for as long as they wanted.