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'Historic moment' as assisted dying bill debated in Lords

Lord Falconer has said it is a 'historic moment' after his assisted dying bill progressed to the next stage following a marathon 10 hours of debate on the issue in the House of Lords.

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Law change would stop deaths 'clouded by secrecy'

A Labour peer whose wife's parents committed joint suicide after his father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer has claimed an assisted dying law could have saved them from a death "clouded by a veil of secrecy and subterfuge."

Lord Mitchell said he had "no hesitation" in supporting Lord Falconer's Bill because it might have spared his family the double bereavement.

Instead of seeking advice, his father-in-law Jack - a Holocaust survivor whose entire family was wiped out by the Nazis - and his wife Ruth cut off communications with their relatives and retreated into a "secret world of preparation and disengagement."

Entrepreneur Lord Mitchell said Jack told him after his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia caused by exposure to radiation: "I'm bloody well going to get out with my boots on." .

"There was not much room for misinterpretation," the peer added.

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