Assisted Dying

Part of Sale of New Petrol and Diesel Cars and Vans – in the House of Commons at 2:49 pm on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate 2:49 pm, 4th July 2019

No, I will not. I might want to pick up on the example the hon. Lady gave later in my remarks.

That personal autonomy on any individual application of universal human rights includes the freedom to control and direct one’s own life and, in this case, death. Yet again, despite a poll in March of more than 5,000 people showing that 84% of Britons wanted a change in the law on assisted dying, they have to contend with the moral certainties of those who are not suffering extreme pain and who are taking these decisions on their behalf—us. We have a responsibility to discuss this issue in an honest, compassionate and evidence-based manner, and we have a swathe of evidence available to us.

The whole Oregon experience entirely supports that this is a practical, sensible, humane and decent measure. Over two decades later, the opinion of the people has not changed one iota. This Parliament, in not facing up to its responsibilities, is party to increasing tyranny, pain and despair.

Ultimately, this is about potential control. Just as people exercise control over how they live, they should be able to exercise control over how they die. In reality, the vast majority of people will never take this choice, even when faced with it. With strong safeguards, Oregon, Washington state, Montana and Vermont have had no documented reported cases of abuse. Why, when the evidence is clear, do we deny everyone the comfort of some personal control over the end of their life?

To return to the point made by the hon. Lady, I wonder what her mother’s view was, because under the law, she could not exercise her autonomy. I am utterly certain that the hon. Lady would have wanted, with all the generosity in the world, to ensure that her mother had the full support available to her. Well, that just might not have been the view of her mother, in the pain and difficulty that she was facing. Why was she not allowed the opportunity to make that decision?