First: The assisted suicide bill is a private members bill. Usually private members bills are a free vote.
Second: Assisted suicide bills have been debated and defeated in the UK on several occasions. There is no reason why this time will be any different.
On March 6, 2014, an Oregon style assisted suicide bill went to a free vote in the New Hampshire house of representatives and it was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 219 to 66. The New Hampshire House is controlled by the Democrats.
A recent study concerning assisted suicide in Switzerland found that 16% of the assisted suicides were done to people who were not physically ill.
The article in the Telegraph stated:
A Bill drawn up by Lord Falconer, a former Labour lord chancellor, to legalise “assisted dying” – allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to terminally-ill patients – is before the House of Lords. Peers are expected to vote on the plans in the next four months.
Under Lord Falconer’s plan, which is modelled on the system in the US state of Oregon, doctors would be able to provide a fatal dose of drugs to patients judged to have less than six months to live.
If the Bill is supported there, it will then pass to the Commons where some MPs say they have detected growing support for the move – influenced by opinion polls suggesting that up to three quarters of the public would support a change in the law.
In the Lords last week, Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, who is disabled, said it was a “dangerous time” to consider a relaxation because of an atmosphere of growing hostility towards disabled and elderly people in wake of recession.
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, said: “Many disabled people will be left feeling very concerned by suggestions that a change in the law on assisted suicide could be one step closer.
"The ban on assisted suicide sends a really powerful message countering the view that if you’re disabled it’s not worth being alive, and that you’re a burden. It provides crucial protection to any person who feels under pressure to end their life.
"This issue tells us a lot about attitudes to disability. Why is it when someone who is not disabled wants to commit suicide we try to talk them out of it, but when a disabled person wants to commit suicide we focus on how we can make that possible?”
A spokesman for the campaign group Care Not Killing said: “Various attempts to change the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia have been debated and rejected by Parliament in recent years.
“Instead of repeating this process, we should be talking about how to ensure everyone has access to the care, drugs and treatment they need.”
Legalizing assisted suicide is not safe.