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 am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that point, because it allows me to point out that the Netherlands law is a completely different law, and I would vote against it if anyone proposed it in the House of Commons. It is a law to enable people to commit suicide more or less whenever they want. That may work for the Dutch—I have nothing but respect for the Dutch people—but I could not vote for it, and I do not believe that it would get more than 100 votes in this House.

What we are proposing is something that has existed in the state of Oregon in the United States for 20 years, and it has never crept anywhere near being the kind of law that the hon. Gentleman is talking about. Yes, of course, there will be much more lax and liberal laws of assisted suicide in other jurisdictions. That is of no relevance at all to the question of whether, in the final six months of a terminal illness, a narrow assisted dying law, with legal and medical safeguards, can operate safely in the United Kingdom, as it does in Canada and in the state of Oregon. I am entirely confident that it can.