Assisted Dying Bill, two days to go.

Baroness Murphy

Regular blog followers will know I am a strong supporter of Lord Falconers’s Bill to enable those who are terminally ill and within 6 months of death, to request assistance to die at a time of their choosing. It makes sense to me as a clinician who has worked all my life with older people that in the end we must respect individuals’ wishes and act compassionately when they feel that they have suffered enough. I have been in the House of Lords long enough to have been through several debates on the issue and I can say for sure we are gradually winning the battle to make this legislation possible. There are now more than 130 speakers lsited for the debate on Friday…we shall get 3 or 4 minutes each and it looks at the moment as if no-one will try to prevent the bill getting a second reading, that is proceeding to the committee stages. Bills like this, which enhance people’s ability to act autonomously eventually get through after many years of campaigning, many years of pressure from the public, many years of facing down the established churches and institutions with vested interests. The factions opposed to the bill would like to kick it into touch by appointing a Royal Commission but this only delays the inevitable. The old arguments, about inadequate safeguards and risk of pressurising people have ben shown to be false by research in other countries which have adopted similar legislation. We are not there yet but there is a buzz around the House which suggests we are nearer than ever before. And with former Archbisops George Carey and Desmond Tutu breaking ranks with their own churches, the tide is turning at last.

13 comments for “Assisted Dying Bill, two days to go.

  1. MilesJSD
    16/07/2014 at 6:34 pm

    Whether you are ‘at the top’, in the now under-intense-pressures last-minute legislative-numbers who have to write and parliamentarily pass or wreck new and more humane legislation,
    or are in some influential positiom thereto,

    (I think) you need to be searching your Soul as never before;
    counting your blessings, your number-of-human-livings, and your daily privileged or private personal ‘sanctuaries’;


    You have been and do continue to support ‘to the Death’
    the packing-off
    to massacre and maiming in Wars,
    our very best and most healthy People,
    by the very best of our Professional-Governance Experts and Established Leaders;

    Yet you can not trust tholse same Reliables
    Backed up in the practical-progress sequence of each case, by a character-&-impartiality-scrutinised Humane & Judicial Tribunal
    consisting of a Consultant Medical Doctor, a consultant Psychiatrist or Clinical-Psychologist, and a qualified Judge
    two essentials of whose ‘Remit’ would be
    (i) intimate communication contact with the needy-sufferer;
    (ii) supervisors duties in the act-of-humaneness-itself;

    and possibly two further duties to record evidence from involved or interested parties,
    and to appoint a real-life-experienced ‘Jury’ to help resolve difficulties along the way.
    Certainly we all have to deal with our blind-willingness to pack our fittest ‘boys and girls’ off to Death and Maiming and the Murder of Others on the Battlefield

    whilst we can not trust ourselves to humanely help
    just one terminally-condemned innocent at a time
    to terminate what has ceased to be a ‘remainder-of-life worth suffering’.

  2. maude elwes
    17/07/2014 at 3:36 am

    Isn’t Falconer a staunch friend of the Blair creature? My goodness me, the right person to push a death wish for all who want it made an every day convenience.

    Most importantly, those to be burdened with this horrific legacy, don’t want this cup passed to them. Which of course is being ignored.

    However, more importantly, where is this coming from? We all need to read agenda 21 – which Britain signed up to. Pay particular attention to the chapters on ‘sustainable populations.’ Very dark forces are at work here.

    And bellows link offers some of the relevant points, which simply are a starting point to the planned ‘sustainable life’ agenda discussed.

    Regardless, we have to get back to every day people and what this is really all about achieving. We have to know that if people are able to decide to end their lives, they will do so, without needing the consent of the State. This bill is a satanic confidence trick, open to abuse by that same State that finds a benefit in getting rid of those seen as a burden. And the doctors discussing their expected part in it know this already. Which is why they are fighting to relieve themselves of this ‘final solution’ agenda.

  3. maude elwes
    17/07/2014 at 4:39 am

    As an addendum to my previous post, I felt we should have a little reminder that this political move is by no means the first of its kind. This link tells it all and the similarity to the spin is astounding.

  4. Ann Mallaby
    17/07/2014 at 11:37 am

    ‘The old arguments, about inadequate safeguards and risk of pressurising people have been shown to be false by research in other countries …’

    There are people in this country who are still seeking justice for relatives who suffered the torture of dehydration before being terminated (i.e. killed by lethal injection) – many of them not terminally-ill nor wanting to be killed.

    There are no adequate safeguards: that is the inconvenient truth.

    • Dr. Cook
      22/07/2014 at 3:58 pm

      “The old arguments, about inadequate safeguards and risk of pressurising people have been shown to be false by research in other countries which have adopted similar legislation”

      What addled garbage.

      The only ‘safeguards’ in this bill are those protecting our rights and autonomy. Whether a law ‘works’ in another country with vastly different leglislation and legal procedures is immaterial: this bill will operate against the backdrop of our own domestic laws, mainly the Mental Capacity Act and its Code of Conduct.
      You appear not to take any great interest in the business of the Lords, or you would not have missed the conclusions of the recent Lords Select Committee which scrutinised the way the Mental Capacity Act was working on the ground.
      It was chaired by Lord Hardie QC: he described it as ‘flawed’ and ‘failing’ and admitted that (and I’m quoting here) ”tens of thousands of people had been unlawfully deprived of their liberty under it” It does not work.—13-march-2014/

      How on earth can you say this ‘old argument’ has been shown to be false?
      What are we to do – allow this bill through and wait until ‘tens of thousands of people have been unlawfully deprived of their lives’?

      I am equally horrified that you describe yourself as ‘a clinician’ and yet cannot discern any difference between a diagnosis and a prognosis. Your lack of appreciation of the shyster definition of ‘terminal’ is appalling…can I suggest you actually READ section 2 of the bill and ask yourself how a person with COPD or Diabetes could conceivably be denied a request for an overdose of barbiturates?

      Its puzzling too that you seem to feel the only objectors are the established churches and ‘religious’ types, and yet, in the same sentence, appeal to the support of Desmond Tutu and Carey as if this in some ways sanctifies turning a crime into an ‘act of mercy’. You’ll find a huge number of atheists see murder as a crime – and their reasons for this are entirely societal and do not stem from any ingrained morality inherent in their religious training.

      I point out to you that Hitler’s ‘Gnadentod’ was 100% consensual when passed…you had to be ‘granted’ a ‘mercy death’ by requesting it…it became compulsory a mere 6 months later.

      The only safeguard against having one’s life taken at the moment is the Human Rights Act; Cameron is about to remove us from the tender mercies of the ECtHR, so the safeguards from abuses of this bill will disappear at the same time.

      I would also add that since the Human Rights Act is also being invoked as a justification for adding this bill to our statutes, any argument for passing it will fall at the same time.

      The entire thread of your argument is illogical…and demonstrates perfectly my support for an elected upper chamber.

  5. MilesJSD
    18/07/2014 at 9:23 am

    Those who hold, and ‘reason’, that (“)the individual has easy and affordable access to the means of self-termination (“self-assisted dying” – “suicide whilst the balance of mind is undisturbed” – ) need to state “how” in all practical-essentials detail.

    maude, good at online addresses –
    where does this one self-determining individual ‘go’
    to find the ‘how’ you so strongly argue is readily available and is the potential-sufferer’s ‘responsibility’ to acquire before sliding beyond-hope into pain, helplessness, voicelessness, and do-it-yourself-lessness ?

    I’ve just tried, and all I could find [under ‘Euthanasia’] was incomplete-instructions
    nonetheless ‘scientificly’ complete-with-video
    being developed by a serious, and yes truly heart-feeling responsible, old-age group of both sexes,
    on ‘how to make your own euthanasia pill’ –
    my God how legal is this anyway ?
    including just my harddrive record recording that I am a “criminal-suicide-supporter”

    and good God
    there is so much careful and supervised ‘teamwork’ and ‘knnow-how’ needed there in that ‘Peoples Dispensary Research Unit’;
    and what advanced what body- hands and fingers control skills you have to have there;
    what laboratory-level apparatus you have to have been able to buy, assemble, and teach your team-mates how to use;

    {yet ‘watch that space’
    because seriously ‘positive’ progress is being made,
    by that one and only ‘public-serving’ team
    of ‘responsible life and death oldies’ –
    to be continued}
    And yes, there are ‘do-it-yourself euthanasia pills’ advertised; even by chemical name;
    even ‘safe plastic bags’ [to tie around one’s neck whatever]

    but no safe-seller information
    nor ‘genericly-ok-human’ eBay or Amazon like shop to go to.

    • maude elwes
      18/07/2014 at 5:46 pm

      Go to a chemist and look at the everyday concoctions that blatantly tell you, do not take more than the stated dose. As you will top yourself if you do.

      Miles, you did make me laugh. Do you know how many people ‘per day’ do this one way or the other. Are you trying to pretend suicide doesn’t happen regularly. Whether they actually intend it to finish them is another matter. Often it’s simply a cry for help, not a cry to die.

      You may believe this or not, Miles, but I simply do not have any sense of trust in a State that promotes the killing of its population under a pretense of mercy. Government has no mercy, as well you know, by your observation of their exploitation of the young and most healthy on the battle field. At the end of WW1 the healthy, brightest and talented male population of the UK was decimated.

      But, the real back story here, or a large part of it, is, you are terrified of the prospect of long term abuse. Either in care homes or some other torture chamber and thus the recent call for extinction prior to the fate of having some so called care worker beating you or shoving food up your nose, whilst leaving you to wallow in your excrement and not one soul around you to take pit on an old man. That is the disgrace, along with the growing contempt for life, exacerbated by the mass extermination of our offspring in the womb.

      This Bill will not in any way change that barbaric conscience, only expand it. As a nation we have taken on the third world attitude of life being cheap.

  6. MilesJSD
    21/07/2014 at 3:38 pm

    To be incisively brief (maude):
    we are
    – or deeply gravely need to be –
    definitively deliberating

    None of the ‘suicide’ and ‘assisted-dying’ paths being indicated
    (including yours)
    come anywhere near ‘guaranteeing’ a judicially-controlled assisted-self-euthanasia;
    certainly not any over-the-chemist’s counter self-euthanasia’

    There is no reliable-self-euthanasia available, not within the Law ‘naturally but not ‘under-the-counter-either. It looks to me as if your indicated ‘daily suicide’ from
    pain-killers/sedatives/aesthetics/tranquillisers/relaxants/poisons, “Do Not Exceed The Stated Dose”
    is too unreliable
    and ‘unfit-for-purpose’.

    That is why we need The Establishment & Government to go through with legislating a ‘Reliably-Assisted-Self-Euthanasia’.
    I see no good reason why such fail-safe, sequentially-supervised ‘self-euthanasia’ legislation and practique should not be enacted;

    and I recognise a solid number of strong reasons why it should be implemented, and quite urgently so.

    • maude elwes
      22/07/2014 at 12:27 pm


      There is no such thing as fail safe ‘self euthanasia’ or even assisted suicide. However, my main point in all this jibberish on right to die, etc.,is, it is an enormous con. Mass duping of a half wit population who believe that such a bill will be in their interests completely baffles me. The only gain will be to those who want to hide their motives or mistakes, or, their glee in murder.

      And neither I or my family want to be at the mercy of this government sponsored death. Hitler’s camps show where that path leads, as does the killing of babies, some unborn with a few who would easily survive had they not been snuffed.

      However, if you want safeguards, ones that will work, the best you will ever be able to get under this piece of Blairite and cohorts death scheme is, when the roll call begins to mount and those who were put to death without their family consent, or their own wish, is, that the perpetrators get sued and the nest egg they’ve stashed away for it confiscated. Then given in huge compensation payments to the millions suffering from it and to have the funds taken off those who administered the death along with those who passed such an abhorrent piece of legislation in a so called civilization.

      Those who want to die already have a way out if they choose to take it, this threat to legalise a kill is unnecessary and those at the top know it.

      Remember this, now the fashion is to wait twenty or thirty years to make those who carry out acts of horror, as with child abuse, still open for action against them when this idea has reached the proportion of treachery we read and hear of now. When that time comes they too will be in line for jail.

      If I was one of those called on to do this kind of act, I would remember that well before I put one needle in another arm who asked me to help them out. For, I would go on living and have to be ready for incarceration at 86.

  7. Croft
    22/07/2014 at 11:29 am

    The tide is certainly turning….the polling suggests the public overwhelming supports this its purely the political class still opposing it though even here things are moving. Looks plausible that under a labour government time would be given in the commons for a private members bill so it looks to have a chance potentially quite soon.

    PS hardly recognised Lady Murphy with the new photo 🙂

  8. 22/07/2014 at 12:32 pm

    My father, Mr Ralph Winstanley was deliberately killed in Doncaster on 23 April 2004. We have all the documents to prove

    1. that he had not been dying
    2. that he was deliberately killed
    3. who organised and ran that killing
    4. how it was achieved
    5. the orghanisations used as the instruments of death.

    Lord Falconer was made fully aware of that during his stint as Chancellor, and showed no wish to insist that the killing was investigated. Of course Ralph Winstanley was 83.

    Killing the old is a great way to avoid paying pensions, (viz. hundreds stated to have been killed at Mid Staffs – over years and years, with refusal after refusal to investigate, when Dame Jo Williams (elevated to Damehood, you will notice)was in charge at the Care Quality Commission. There was even an attempt at private and public denigration of the colleague – Kay Sheldon – who finally blew the whistle on her own organisation, because of its refusal to act.

    One NHS death, serves to ‘finalise’, rather than using up the rest of the potential NHS funding.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that such as Lord Falconer (how is it that these people all get lordships etc?) are keen to rid the world of all ‘nuisances’.. rather than specifically aid those with a stated need to die.

    There are NO safeguards in place. There is scarcely a ripple of discontent from police forces, the Courts, the public, MPs.. or anyone but the newly deceased.. and no-one is listening to them.. obviously..

  9. MilesJSD
    27/07/2014 at 12:01 am

    To run
    just one of the slippery problems, lurking within and around this “assisted dying” difficulty in legalising a needless-suffering-and=wasted-life-remnant-factuality,
    at you rather than past you:-

    How can you be de-facto trusting of the Constitutional, Legislative, Judiciary, and Regulatory people
    who send our best youth off to murder, be murdered and worse bestially-mangled and sent back ‘home’ maimed for Life, in Real-Needs-Denying Wars

    yet so non-trusting of those same leaders, experts and governors, to make and deliver maximumly Humane Legislation for the exit-from-life of those upon whom both Nature and Civilisation are relentlessly dumping both torture and an inexorably certain ‘killing-off’ ?
    Not so simply and briefly perhaps,
    from me personally to those who ‘argue’ that
    “no-one has the right to take someone else’s life,
    even humanely,
    as one is expected to do for a cancer-ridden dog to put it out of its misery”:-

    don’t tell me these disabled and helpless victims are
    “dying a good death in the all-loving arms of God”

    or “fulfilling their right to a full life without interference”}.

    • maude elwes
      28/07/2014 at 11:51 am

      @ Miles:

      I, for one, do not see my family or self as dogs.

      Secondly, if you want to be a government killing machine, then that is for you to avidly lobby for and make an application for such a post. However, to call for enforcement of this deed on others, to suit your mania, is another matter altogether. Any sane people or nation who watches government, in all its forms, grind down upon its needy and vulnerable, the way we are witnessing today, should be very careful indeed, not to ever trust it with their own or beloveds life under any circumstances.

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