Assisted Dying Bill - Lords debates on Friday
Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill is now scheduled to begin its Committee Stage reading in the House of Lords this Friday, 7th November 2014.
The Bill would allow a terminally ill person who has less than six months to live, who is of sound mind and is physically unable to end their own life, to choose to die with dignity at a time and in a manner of their own choosing, and to be given help in ending their own life. There are major safeguards built into the Bill, to prevent abuses, and it is very limited in its scope.
In July, the Bill passed through its first major test, the Second Reading in the Lords.
After a wait of almost five months, the Bill now moves on to its next major test, when peers will have the opportunity to submit and vote on amendments to the original bill. We don't expect that the Bill will be given an easy ride: the biggest danger is that it will simply be talked out, with opponents raising objection after objection until time runs out. Already, dozens of amendments have been submitted and it's all too clear that some of them are only there to take up more of the bill's limited time.
The bill is in line with HSLD and party policy: the party voted for the right to assisted dying at the Brighton Conference in Autumn 2012 after we submitted the proposal for debate, and LibDem peers of all faiths and none have played major roles in bring the bill this far.