MP votes against assisted dying in Parliament
MP has explained his decision to vote against assisted dying in
Parliament on Friday.
majority of 330 MPS voted against plans to allow terminally
ill patients to end their lives through medical aid, against 118
MPs who were for it.
MP James Heappey has explained the reasons behind his vote.
week I will vote on the Assisted Dying Bill in Parliament. As
you would expect, I have been contacted by people on both sides
of the argument who have written and spoken with real passion
on both sides of the debate," he says.
of the testimony for and against has been gut wrenching
to hear or read and my decision on how to vote has been incredibly
difficult to reach. Nonetheless, with the vote now upon us, I
have decided that I will be voting against the Bill."
reaching my decision, I have spoken with clinicians including
GPs and Palliative Care specialists, carers, charities and local
clergy as well as many local residents. It has struck me that
one of the most common concerns raised by those campaigning for
the Bill is that they have an incredible fear of the helplessness
and pain that might afflict them as they reach the end of their
life. Indeed, I have people close to me who in the last year or
so have seen a relative suffer incredibly from a terminal illness
and as they neared the end, they too wanted to be able to end
the suffering by choosing to die."
I can't help see this as a reason for much better funding for
Palliative Care rather than a reason to introduce assisted dying.
Furthermore, we need to make sure that those who are terminally
ill are treated with a dignity which extends beyond simply administering
effective pain relief. We need to support people in their own
homes and never create a situation where the old or infirm feel
a burden on our society."
those who have campaigned for me to vote in favour of this Bill,
I know that this will be a huge disappointment. It will be little
reassurance that I have thought about it so deeply but I hope
they can respect that in these situations, it is impossible to
please everyone and that ultimately I have to make a decision
based on the opinions expressed by my constituents and the advice
of local stakeholders. I will vote with a heavy heart but after
much reflection, I am sure that I will be in the right lobby."