Report (2nd Day)

Part of Care Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 14th October 2013.

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Photo of Lord Mackay of Clashfern Lord Mackay of Clashfern Conservative 4:45 pm, 14th October 2013

My Lords, I very much welcome government Amendment 57. Of course, I have supported the recommendation of the Joint Committee on this matter, and continue to do so. Subsection (a) of Amendment 137 is important as a way forward. However, the difficulties to which the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, has referred, are quite important in this connection. Many people in terminal situations would find a hospice one of the best places to go if that choice were open to them. Many people, of course, would prefer to die at home in a family situation. The hospices are normally able to engender a family atmosphere around death. People I have spoken to in the hospices have said, “If you have to die, this is the place to do so”; the “if” is not all that important.

There are practical questions to be taken into account, but it would be quite a step forward if the Government were able to come forward at Third Reading with an amendment which allowed some form of indication of the place of care, as the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, says, or the place where one would wish to terminate one’s life in a way that was registered, so that those responsible would be able to give effect to it, so far as is possible, having regard to the changes that can take place in the last few months, days and hours.