Assisted Dying Bill [HL] Debate

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Department: Ministry of Justice

Assisted Dying Bill [HL]

Baroness Flather Excerpts
2nd reading
Friday 22nd October 2021

(2 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Flather Portrait Baroness Flather (CB)
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My Lords, forgive me for not standing. If I stand, noble Lords will have to pick me up, so it is better that I keep sitting.

Each situation is very personal to who you are dealing with and to make rules and regulations is very difficult because each situation is also different. It will be extremely difficult to make rules and regulations that cover everything. Of course, we must try, because without that, we cannot have this law. However, I would very much appreciate allowing people to add something to whatever is put together.

I feel very strongly that the whole concept of assisted dying has been taken away by being mixed up with suicide. It is not about suicide, although I see no reason why one should not be allowed to commit suicide. It is your body and your life—if you want to take it, you take it. But we do not want that to happen, so we want to give people a choice, which is important.

It is also important that there is somewhere in this country similar to Dignitas. Whatever one says about Dignitas—there are many stories on television about individuals who have gone there having a bad time —it is very simple, nice and straightforward. If we try to block every little hole in the system, we will end up with a very complex system and still not have blocked the holes.

It would also be helpful if each of us put down our own wishes for the end of life, whether we want this or do not want that, as that will help the doctors, the carers and the families.