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Assisted Dying Bill debated in Parliament

Peers will today debate a bill which would make it legal for adults in England and Wales to be given help ending their lives.

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Grey-Thompson: excruciating pain didn't make me suicidal

Welsh Paralympic athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson has told the House of Lords of her fear that legalising assisted dying for the terminally ill would lead to some disabled people feeling pressurised into ending their lives.

There is a myth that our lives are so tragic or painful that we must want to end them. Just this week I was told, “You must have wanted to kill yourself many times in your life”. No, I have not. I have experienced excruciating pain. When I was 19, I snapped a metal rod off my spine that came out through my skin, but I have never considered killing myself. The fact is, however, that many people expected that I would ask for that. What if those people were related to me?

Some of the cases highlighted in the media concern people who are not terminally ill and would supposedly not fit the terms of the Bill. However, this raises concerns that this is just the tip of the iceberg or an attempt to soften public opinion. The charity Care has shown that those who support the Bill in principle change their mind when they are presented with the reality of assisted suicide. Then the percentage of those who support it drops from 73% to 43%.

– Baroness Grey-Thompson

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