Former Birkenhead MP Frank Field has announced he now supports the Assisted Dying Bill currently being debated in the Lords, after revealing his own terminal illness and witnessing the “full horror” of an MP friend’s cancer diagnosis. In a statement read on his behalf by Baroness Molly Meecher, Field said:
I’ve just spent a period in a hospice and I’m not well enough to participate in today’s debate. If I had been, I would have spoken strongly in favour of a second reading. I changed my mind on assisted dying when an MP friend was dying of cancer and wanted to die early, before the full horror effects set in, but was denied this opportunity. A major argument against the bill is unfounded: it is thought by some that the culture would change and that people would be pressured into ending their lives. The number of assisted deaths in the US and Australia remains very low, under one percent. And a former Supreme Court judge in Victoria, Australia said [about pressure from relatives] that it just hasn’t been an issue. I hope the House will today vote for the assisted dying bill.”
The Bill proposes that patients with full cognition and a living prognosis of less than six months would be eligible to apply for an assisted death. At the time of going to pixel, the Bill is in its second reading in the Lords.
Would you vote to legalise assisted dying for the terminally ill?— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) October 22, 2021
On this conscience issue Guido is conflicted, after thousands of votes our unscientific Twitter poll is surprisingly decisive in favour of legalising assisted dying..