MPs overwhelmingly reject Assisted Dying Bill

MPs have overwhelmingly rejected a bill which would have allowed doctors to help some terminally ill people end their lives.

The Commons voted against giving a second reading to the Assisted Dying Bill by 330 to 118 - a majority of 212.

MPs on both sides of the house shared personal stories and strong views during the near five-hour debate.

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California approves assisted suicide bill

The bill has been sent to California Governor Edmund Credit: Reuters

On the day that parliament overwhelmingly vote against the Assisted Dying Bill, lawmakers in the most populous state in the US approved right to die legislation for terminally ill patients.

The California legislature approved today a bill to legalise physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients despite opposition from religious and disability rights groups.

It has now been sent to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for his approval or veto.

The bill would allow mentally competent patients whom two doctors agree have only six months to live to request a prescription that would end their lives.

MPs voted against similar legislation in the UK today by 330 to 118, a majority of 212.


Campaigners celebrate MPs rejecting assisted dying bill

Campaigners against assisted dying celebrated outside Parliament after MPs overwhelmingly rejected new legislation supporting the idea.

People who had gathered to protest earlier in the day cheered and chanted as the result was announced.

Accompanied by a banging drum, they chanted: "Can you hear my heart beat?"

MPs vote against assisted dying bill after Commons debate

MPs have rejected a bill which would have allowed doctors to help some terminally ill people end their lives.

A total of 330 MPs voted against the Assisted Dying Bill, with 118 in favour of it, a majority of 212.

MPs threw out Labour MP Rob Marris' Private Members' Bill following a lengthy and an at times emotional debate in the House of Commons.

Cameron warns of 'dangers' of new assisted dying law

David Cameron has warned of the "dangers" of an assisted dying law leading to an increase in euthanasia.

David Cameron said he doesn't 'see a case' for the bill. Credit: PA

Speaking in Leeds as MPs debate the bill in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said he would not be supporting it but the matter was a "conscience issue".

He said: "I don't see a case for this measure. I don't want to see an expansion of euthanasia in our country. I think there are dangers and so I don't support it.

"If the Bill makes more progress there will be further opportunities to scrutinise this legislation, ask difficult questions about it and to examine the whole subject, which I think is what the nation wants us to do."

MP reduced to tears in emotional assisted dying speech

One MP was reduced to tears as she recounted her husband's suffering during the last years of his life, as the Commons continued to debate a bill on assisted dying.

Madeleine Moon's husband Steve died earlier this year after contracting a form of Motor Neurone Disease.

In an emotional speech, the Bridgend MP told how life "changed to being a burden".

She said the bill would not have helped him but that it should be allowed to go on to the committee stage.

"I believe that it is Parliament's job to look at the will of the people and to consider the difficult choices in front of society," she said. "We must be honest with the people and have that full and frank debate."


Fox: Assisted dying law risks opening 'Pandora's box'

Dr Fox worked as a GP before he was elected to Parliament.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox has warned MPs they risk opening a "Pandora's box" if they legalise assisted dying.

Dr Fox, who worked as a GP before he was elected, said the move would fundamentally change the relationship between doctors and patients.

The Conservative MP said it was "impossible to differentiate between assisted dying and euthanasia" and "if you have one, you will inevitably get another".

"However well-meaning the proponents of this Bill may be, they will open a Pandora's box which will fundamentally change who we are and how we are as a society, how we relate to the medical profession, and I believe none of these will be to the benefit of future generations," he said.

'Unprecedented' number of MPs bid to speak in debate

The debate is expected to last much of the day.

More than 85 MPs are bidding to speak in the Commons debate on legislation which could enshrine the right to die in British law, an "unprecedented" number.

At the start of the debate, Deputy Speaker Natascha Engel said the demand to speak from the backbenches meant MPs must keep remarks brief to allow as many into the debate as possible.

"I hope speakers will restrict themselves to five minutes, and that's including interventions," she said.

Former DPP highlights 'injustice' in assisted dying rules

Keir Starmer was Director of Public Prosecutions from 2008 to 2013.

Preventing people wishing to die from gaining access to professional assistance is an "injustice", a former Director of Public Prosecutions has told the House of Commons debate on assisted dying.

Keir Starmer, now MP for Holborn and St Pancras, said one of the limitations of current prosecution guidelines was that people felt they could go to friends and family for help but not medical experts.

"They can have amateur assistance from nearest and dearest but they can't have professional help in that desire, unless they've got the means and the physical ability to get to Dignitas," he told the debate.

"That to my mind is an injustice that we have trapped within our current framework."

Assisted dying law would provide 'protection and choice'

Rob Marris opened the debate in the House of Commons.

Legalising assisted dying would provide more protection and choice for the living, the MP who introduced the bill in the House of Commons has said.

Rob Marris said most people would never choose an assisted death but it was right to give people the option to die "a dignified and peaceful death at a time and place" of their choice.

"I and many other people would find it comforting to know that the choice was available," he said.

"If the exercise of a choice does not harm others we should allow that choice."

Following Mr Marris' opening remarks, Conservative MP Caroline Spelman said the proposals would legitimise suicide and the involvement of others in it.

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