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House of Lords Votes Down Another Assisted Suicide Bill

House of Lords Votes Down Another Assisted Suicide Bill

The House of Lords has voted down another proposed bill that would enable assisted suicide by a vote of 179 to 145.  The vote took place on 16 March 2022.

The bill, with an amendment proposed by Lord Forsyth, was the 12th time that such a bill has failed to win a majority vote in any legislature in the United Kingdom.  Earlier attempts took place starting in 1997.  The idea was defeated in the House of Commons last in 2015 and in the House of Lords in 2021.  

Danny Kruger MP and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dying Well, remarked after the bill’s defeat:  

“The House of Lords has now unequivocally rejected the latest attempt to shoehorn radical assisted suicide laws onto the statute book. Given that supporters of assisted suicide have said that the House of Lords is more supportive than the Commons, this is ample evidence that assisted suicide enjoys neither momentum or support. Countless hours have been spent debating these proposals and given the pressures on Parliamentary time, this result ought to be an indicator that future time should not be given over to this issue again.”

The CEO of Care Not Killing, Dr Gordon Macdonald responded to the bill’s defeat when he said, “

“We welcome this unequivocal rejection of this dangerous and unconstitutional amendment by the House of Lords. Parliamentarians had previously considered and not passed legalisation on assisted suicide and euthanasia nearly a dozen times since 1997 out of concern for public safety.

“They have done this because they recognise the dangers of ripping up laws that protect the terminally ill and disabled people from feeling like a burden, exactly as we have seen in the tiny number of places that have changed the law to allow assisted suicide and euthanasia – countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, the US State of Oregon and Canada.

“In Oregon, which uses the same drugs to kill the terminally ill as used on death row, a majority of those ending their lives cite fear of being a burden as the reason, while academic studies have found far from cutting suicides in the general population, legalising what is euphemistically called ‘assisted dying’ may lead to an increase.

“We hope Parliament will now turn its attention to the real issues facing our country of ensuring that everybody can access the very best medical care, regardless of whether they are disabled or terminally ill and how to fund this.”