A lot of constituents have been in touch with me about assisted dying. It is very clear that this is something people care about very deeply, whether they are for it or against it.
When the Assisted Dying Bill was debated on Friday 11 September I was very privileged to have been in the Chair. Although this meant I could not vote or speak, my feeling is that I am strongly opposed to it. Life is very precious and I am worried that elderly people, in particular, may feel that they are a burden. Even though this may not be the case, they may be mindful that ending their life may be an option.
Some of the letters I received from constituents told me about personal experiences. How, if assisted suicide had been allowed their loved ones would have been able to pass peacefully rather than suffering indignity and pain and for this reason I can understand why this Bill would seem to be a solution.
But in reality, I think this whole issue is more about end of life care rather than Assisted Suicide. We need to be better at looking after people who are dying. That is the the important thing. It’s about life not death and I feel that all of us should have the right for our lives to end naturally and with dignity and compassion.