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Peer 'could have used assisted dying laws' aged 18

Conservative peer Baroness Morris of Bolton said she may have used assisted dying laws if they had been around when she broke her back in a riding accident aged just 18.

Baroness Morris said she considered ending her life after a riding accident aged 18.
Baroness Morris said she considered ending her life after a riding accident aged 18. Credit: PA

The Baroness told the House of Lords she became so depressed about never being able to walk again she stockpiled pills as she feared she was becoming a burden to her parents.

She said: "I don't think I would have ever taken them. I just wanted to be free from the pain. But I was lucky. A wonderful nurse befriended me, helped me to feel positive and I got better.

"But what if instead of stockpiling distalgesics, the Bill for assisted suicide and I had been in that frame of mind?"

She said people in Oregon in the US, where assisted dying is legal, had waited up to four days to die after being given a dose of lethal medication and six people had woken up but "none of them had a second go."

Wanting to die is 'not a weakness,' says peer

The assisted dying bill is being debated in the House of Lords.
The assisted dying bill is being debated in the House of Lords. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Royall of Blaisdon said wanting to die was "not a weakness" as the debate on assisted dying continues.

The Labour peer, whose late husband had cancer, said: "For me the goal must be to allow people who are suffering at the end of their life to choose to die.

"This I believe is a matter of compassion and human dignity."

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Assisted dying bill set to be debated by peers

An assisted dying bill proposed by former Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer is to be debated in the House of Lords today.

The Bill proposes allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients judged to have less than six months to live.

Around 130 peers, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey who said he supported new legislation on the issue, are set to take part in the debate which is expected to last 10 hours.

A survey conducted for ITV's Tonight programme found 70% would support allowing assisted dying under the framework outlined by the Assisted Dying Bill

Read: Terminally ill ex-Oftsed chief admits: 'I considered starving myself to death'

Peers pledge not to wreck assisted dying Bill

A group of peers opposed to moves to legalise assisted dying legislation have pledged not to vote against a bill in the House of Lords on Friday. They believe further parliamentary scrutiny will expose the law's flaws.

The legislation tabled by Lord Falconer, proposes allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.

Watch Tonight: Assisted Dying - For and Against on Thursday at 7.30pm on ITV.

Read: Ex-schools chief: I considered starving myself to death

Read: Large majority of Britons support assisted dying

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Vicar: Suffering cannot be 'edited' out of our world

The Church of England will have to continue wrestling with the topic of assisted suicide, the Speaker's chaplain to the House of Commons told ITV News, as the church is to hold a key meeting today. Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin said:

It is a controversial debate. But I don't think it puts the church in a difficult position [...] The church genuinely wants to ensure that those who are vulnerable in society are not left in an even more vulnerable position.

The reality is I believe that we cannot edit suffering out of our world when it comes to sickness or illness. So as a society we do need to find compassionate ways to be there with each other. So the church will have to continue to wrestle with this topic. It's not something that's going to go away.

Read: Desmond Tutu latest religious figure to back right-to-die

Desmond Tutu latest religious figure to back right-to-die

Retired Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu is backing a law change on the right-to-die.
Retired Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu is backing a law change on the right-to-die. Credit: PA

Desmond Tutu has become the latest high-profile figure to come out in favour of a change in the law on the right-to-die.

Writing in the Observer, the former Anglican bishop said he reveres "the sanctity of life - but not at any cost."

His comments come after the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey said the case of locked-in sufferer Tony Nicklinson inspired him to change his mind on the issue.

A Bill to legalise assisted dying will be debated in the House of Lords next week.

Right-to-die backing 'step in the right direction'

The former Archbishop of Canterbury's decision to support legalising assisted suicide is a "step in the right direction", the widow of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson has told ITV News.

Jane Nicklinson said: "I think the fact that [Lord Carey] has come out and said his feelings have changed, a lot more in the church will come out".

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