Monday 4th July 2022

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Danny Kruger Portrait Danny Kruger
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I really do thank the hon. Lady for that intervention. She is absolutely right, and I thank her for allowing me to make it abundantly clear what I hope I made clear earlier: I recognise the enormous power of the campaign, and that the overwhelming majority of people want it for the best of intentions. All of the people campaigning for this, and the overwhelming majority of the people who imagine making use of this law, do so for the absolute best of intentions. Please can we not have a deliberate misunderstanding of the points I make? I represent a lot of people who think this way, and I am making the point in all sincerity.

I challenge Members, many of whom must visit their hospices and know what is acknowledged as the fact of elder abuse. Tragically, we have a rising epidemic of elder abuse in this country. Half of elderly people who are victims of financial crime are victimised by their own adult children. It is not just the elderly we need to be concerned about. It is no surprise that no disabled organisation supports the proposal. It is the most vulnerable people, who by definition rely on the support of other people—their families and professionals—who are most at risk of assisted dying laws being misapplied, which is what I fear would happen. Suddenly, every controlling and coercive relative, every avaricious carer or neighbour, every overstretched or under-resourced doctor or hospital manager would have the means to cut their cost, and I do not believe it is possible to design out the risks.

John Hayes Portrait Sir John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) (Con)
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My hon. Friend is making a compelling case. We have heard a lot about quality of life, but who are we to judge what a quality life really is? Is someone who is profoundly disabled without quality? Is someone with profound learning difficulties without quality? Why do we assume that the only lives worth living are those that are perfect or of high quality in the eyes of others?

Roger Gale Portrait Sir Roger Gale (in the Chair)
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Order. I fear that we shall never hear the answer to my right hon. Friend. We have to stick to the five-minute limit, and you get injury time only on the first occasion that you give way, I am afraid. That is a message for all Members.