‘Current law protects the vulnerable’, say MPs in assisted suicide debate

MPs have said that the current law on assisted suicide protects vulnerable people from ending their lives.

The comments came during a Westminster Hall debate, led by Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine, who called for a Government inquiry into current legislation.

The debate was held the day after politicians on the Isle of Man rejected efforts to weaken the law on assisted suicide there.


Jardine opened the debate by stating that people want “some control over the manner of their death”, but others quickly grasped the flaws in her position.

Fiona Bruce MP highlighted that in other jurisdictions which have legalised assisted suicide, “safeguards are often discarded” in practice, “and vulnerable and depressed people are assisted to end their lives”.

Sir John Hayes MP emphasised that “every life has value” and said: “If there is any prospect of one vulnerable person dying as a result of this change who would not otherwise do so, it is not a chance that, as a legislator and a parliamentarian, I am prepared to take.”

And Jim Shannon MP added: “The answer is not legalising assisted suicide. The answer is to help, to support and to be compassionate towards families.”


Earlier this week the Isle of Man considered whether to change the law on assisted suicide.

Tynwald, the island’s Parliament, debated the issue but decided against preparing legislation.

The Christian Institute welcomed the result, thanking God that politicians “upheld the value of human life in the face of pressure from pro-euthanasia activists”.

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