Many constituents have sent me a copy of the campaign postcard publicising the briefing on Assisted Dying that will be available in Committee Room 17 on Monday 30th April.
This is an issue that I know many of my constituents are deeply concerned about and I receive a lot of correspondence about it – from both sides of the debate. This is a very sensitive issue that raises many ethical and religious concerns and I am sympathetic to views on both sides of the argument.
I fully accept that suicide, assisting or encouraging suicide, assisted dying and euthanasia are all subjects on which it is entirely possible for people to hold widely different but defensible opinions. This is why the substance of the law in this area is not a matter of party politics but of conscience. Should the law in this area ever be altered, it is neither a matter for government to decide nor a matter for the judiciary, but ultimately a matter for Parliament and therefore it would be a free vote.
I accept that there are imperfections and problems with the current law and if any legislative proposals were brought forward in Parliament I would carefully consider them and look at the precise wording and implications. Despite its flaws, however, I am broadly supportive of the current status quo. There are many potential unintended consequences of significant changes in either direction.
I try to ensure I am kept informed of the latest evidence and activity on the issue and I will therefore endeavour to pick up a copy of the briefing.