Dignity in Dying

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:44 pm on 8th December 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Danny Kruger Danny Kruger Conservative, Devizes 8:44 pm, 8th December 2021

My right hon. Friend is making a powerful speech, as expected. He refers to a very small number of people to whom he wants to give this new right. I recognise the extraordinary pain and distress of those individuals and their families, but is he aware that in Oregon—the legislation being proposed in the other place is based on the law there—over half the people who apply for assisted death do so not because of terrible pain and suffering, but because they do not want to be a burden on their family? That is the consideration that motivates them. Does he not agree that that is likely to be replicated here, given the sad prevalence of abuse and neglect of elderly relatives in our country?

Surely the answer to the distress of people facing death is to improve palliative care, which, as he says, though it can be excellent in this country, is tragically patchy, which is not good enough. Surely we should invest significantly in palliative care to ensure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to die with all the care that they need, and does not have a terrible, distressing death, before we ever consider this terrible step of allowing assisted suicide.