On 17th June 2003, Mr David Taylor, a Labour/Co-op MP with a Christian Socialist background, introduced a Ten Minute Rule Motion:
“That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for the establishment of an Older People’s Rights Commissioner to promote and protect the human rights of older people; to make provision in respect of the recognition of such rights by public and private bodies; to assist older people in respect of such rights; to make provision for the powers and duties of the Commissioner; and for connected purposes.”
The Motion was primarily concerned with health and social care measures, and particularly the abuse of elderly people which has caused public concern in recent months. Mr Taylor made no mention of the issue of euthanasia or assisted dying in his speech in favour of the bill.
After it was agreed that a bill should be brought in by Mr Taylor, Mr Taylor presented a Bill to make provision for the establishment of an older people’s rights commissioner. The Bill was ordered to be read a second time on 11th July.
When VES contacted Mr Taylor, he said that assisted dying was one of the issues he had yet to resolve. He intends to work with Help the Aged on this issue, but anticipates that any future initiative would be likely to oppose assisted dying. Most recently, Help the Aged opposed Lord Joffe’s Patient (Assisted Dying) Bill to legalise assisted dying for mentally competent, terminally ill people (see here ).