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Assisted Dying - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:11 pm on 6th March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Carlile of Berriew Lord Carlile of Berriew Crossbench 8:11 pm, 6th March 2017

My Lords, in my view, even official Oregon health division data show how dangerous this law is.

First, non-terminally ill disabled individuals are receiving lethal prescriptions contrary to the law. That is the evidence.

Secondly, in any given case, the certifiers of non-coercion and capability need not even know the person being killed. Furthermore, one witness may even be an heir with a financial interest in the death.

Thirdly, there is no reliable way of checking whether the death is a suicide, and therefore lawful, or administered by a third party and therefore unlawful.

Full euthanasia is being introduced by the back door in some cases in Oregon. In all, it is a dangerously unreliable law which contains unsatisfactory safeguards. My answer to the noble Baroness’s second question is a resounding no.