The Guardian reported: The assisted dying bill proposed by former Labour lord chancellor Lord Falconer of Thoroton, aiming to give terminally ill patients the right to die is unlikely to pass through parliament before May’s general election, after a debate in the Lords only managed to address only a handful of over 150 amendments to be discussed.
During Friday’s debate the lords voted 180 to 107 against changing the wording of the bill from “assisted dying” to “assisted suicide”. A proposed amendment by Lord Carlile to put restrictions on the type of doctors who could consult with a patient who wanted to end their own life was also defeated 119 to 61.
It is the latest in a number of attempts to get legislation on the matter through parliament and Falconer said he would try again with another assisted dying bill after the election.
Although Lord Falconer admitted that his bill was unlikely to become law this parliament, he argued that the result of the day’s votes suggested that the majority of lords were now in favour of assisted dying: “Peers have now switched from being 60% against back in 2006 to 60% in favour today. Terminally ill people deserve choice and control at the end of life and today’s landmark vote shows the House of Lords now agrees, too.”
Sarah Wootton, the chief executive of the campaign organisation Dignity in Dying, said Falconer’s bill had progressed further than any legislation on the issue before it: “We are now debating how, not if, we change the law on assisted dying for the terminally ill.”