As a politician sensitive issues inevitably arise and there can hardly be a more complex one than the proposed Assisted Dying Bill which will have its second reading on September 11th with a free vote following.
I have been contacted by hundreds of people in Taunton Deane on each side of the debate, both making extremely valid points, some with heart rending stories attached.
On the one side there are calls for a dignified, sensibly regulated option offering assisted dying for those suffering from a terminal illness with only limited time to live. However, many raise concerns that the proposed legislation could have unintended consequences or put the elderly and medical professions in very difficult situations.
I fully accept that suicide, assisting or encouraging suicide, assisted dying and euthanasia are all subjects on which it is entirely possible for people to hold widely different but defensible opinions. This is why the substance of the law in this area is not a matter of party politics but of conscience. So I am listening to the views of all those who contact me and am speaking to many others besides. On my return to Parliament I have several meeting’s planned with experts on the issue to discuss in more depth the current and proposed legislation and its consequences. I will be listening with interest to all sides of the argument on September 11th and will then make my decision on which way to vote.
Thank you to everyone who has already contacted me about this important and sensitive subject.
I welcome all views on this matter and if you would like to share yours with me then please contact me at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Masons House, Magdalene Street, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1SG