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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

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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.

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.

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