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Carlisle Bishop speaks out against assisted dying

The issue of assisted dying is back on the political agenda with a bill being debated in the House of Lords today.

Right-to-die campaigners say it will ease suffering of the terminally ill, they have even received the backing of a former Archbishop of Canterbury.

Those who disagree include the current Bishop of Carlisle, The Right Reverend James Newcombe.

Fiona Marley Paterson has been talking to the Bishop, and two people diagnosed with chronic illnesses, who both have very different opinions on assisted dying.


Bishop of Carlisle: Assisted dying 'not the right track to go down'

The Bishop of Carlisle has urged the Government not to pass a law that would allow doctors to prescribe drugs to end the life of someone with a terminal illness.

Those in favour of the bill say the plans would allow suffering to be eased when people have six months or less to live.

However, The Right Reverend James Newcome told ITV Border the church does not support the idea.

The Assisted Dying Bill: Where do you stand?

We asked two people in Cumbria with chronic, degenerative illnesses what they thought about the issue of assisted dying.

Iain Bainbridge is from Kendal. He is a father, a businessman and a Christian. Six years ago his future was turned upside down when he was told he has Multiple Sclerosis - but he does not agree with the idea of assisted dying,

However, Eric Tiffin doesn't agree. He is from Penrith and has Motor Neurone Disease.


Bishop hears welfare reforms affecting most vulnerable in Kendal

The Bishop of Carlisle listens to evidence at Manna House in Kendal Credit: ITV News

The Bishop of Carlisle is visiting the homeless charity, Manna House, in Kendal to hear evidence about how the government's welfare reforms are affecting some of the most vulnerable in society.

He's leading a commission looking into the issue around Cumbria.

Over the next few weeks it will visit a number of charities, community groups and individuals.

A number of the people who go to Manna House for help and advice have told ITV Border that the government's welfare changes are affecting them badly.

The Bishop of Carlisle listens to evidence at Manna House in Kendal Credit: ITV News

Hearings to take place across the county

The Commission has been established at the request of the Cumbria Leaders Board. Evidence from charities, community organisations and individuals will be collected over the coming months.

Bishop James, who is the Church of England's lead bishop on healthcare, said:

This is a vitally important body of work and one which I'm sure will demonstrate directly the frontline impact of welfare reforms.

It's our Christian duty to ensure all in society are cared for and protected and that any reforms do not unfairly penalise people.

I would urge anyone who has concerns to register those with the Commission through the proper channels. This will allow us to feed back to the relevant authorities all of our findings."

– The Rt Rev'd James Newcome

As part of the Commission's schedule four special hearings are to take place across Cumbria to enable people to give evidence.