Video: MS sufferer speaks out against assisted suicide

An MS sufferer has warned that vulnerable people could feel pressure to kill themselves if assisted suicide is introduced.

Iain Bainbridge, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2008, made the comments as the House of Lords debates the issue next week.

Mr Bainbridge said that it was vital for society to “affirm the value of every human life” rather than “make people feel they are a burden”.

Hope

He also said that those with progressive conditions desperately need the “best possible care, assistance and affirmation that their life is still worth living”.

Mr Bainbridge, who set up his own estate agent business in 2011, added: “I think it’s vital that if we are a civilised society, we affirm the value of every human life and also hold out hope that there could be a new treatment at any time.”

He continued: “If we allow people to give up hope, the investment in drugs, in technology, and in the hospice movement as well, will be curtailed.”

Concerned

Last month, the leaders of disability charities Scope and Disability Rights UK said they were “deeply concerned” about pressure to introduce assisted suicide.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, they warned: “Many disabled people strongly oppose legalising assisted suicide”.

“Why is it that when people who are not disabled want to commit suicide, we try to talk them out of it, but when a disabled person wants to do so, we focus on how we can make that possible?

Deep-seated beliefs

“The campaign to legalise assisted suicide reinforces deep-seated beliefs that the lives of terminally ill and disabled people are not worth as much as other people’s”, they added.

Peers will debate Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill on 18 July.

Patrick Harvie MSP is also seeking to introduce the practice in Scotland.

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