Minister calls for change on assisted suicide law

Another health minister has spoken out in favour of reforming the law on assisted suicide.

Liberal Democrat minister Norman Lamb joins colleague Anna Soubry in calling for a change in the law.

He said: “Where there is someone who is facing a terminal illness, there is a case for a debate.”


“My personal view is that there is a case for reform.”

But Conservative party sources say the Prime Minister has long held the view that “there is no need for a change in the law.”

He has distanced himself from comments made by Anna Soubry.


His spokesman said it was an issue “for parliament to decide.”

Peter Saunders, Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship, has criticised Mr Lamb’s remarks.

He said the role of a health minister should be to prevent people from taking the “desperate step” of suicide.

Loaded gun

He added that Mr Lamb should not be making it “easier for a loaded gun to be passed to those who consider, for whatever reason, their lives to be no longer worth living.”

Mr Saunders wants the minister to prioritise “better care for those with terminal and chronic illness.”

In February 2010, new guidelines were brought in making it unlikely for someone who compassionately helps a person die to be prosecuted.

Assisted suicide is still a criminal offence in England and Wales and could lead to a jail sentence of up to 14 years.

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