from Dignity in Dying’s Blog:
Following almost 10 hours of debate last Friday July 18, Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill passed its first major hurdle, a Second Reading.
To become law a Bill has to pass a number of stages (in both Houses of Parliament):
- Second Reading
- Committee (next stage)
- Third Reading
The General Election in May 2015 will shorten the Parliamentary year, meaning there is less time for the Bill to compete the process of becoming law. To be made law in this Parliament, a Bill needs to pass through both Houses of Parliament by April 2015.
While the majority of speakers at Second Reading accepted that something needs to be done about our out-of-date and out-of-touch law, there are those who are determined on principle to block progress of the Bill through its stages in the House of Lords. It’s important that Parliamentarians are able to focus on the specifics of how the law should change, which is what Committee should allow, and what the Supreme Court judgment requested.
Whilst Friday’s debate was a milestone, it is also the beginning of a long process.
For more information on the Parliamentary process – please read our blog.