Proposals to change the law on assisted dying have their second reading in the House of Lords today.
They’d allow doctors to help end the lives of terminally-ill patients in certain circumstances.
While peers discuss the plans, which have been put forward by Lord Falconer, pro-life campaigners will gather outside Parliament to show their concerns.
The demonstration which has been organised by the groups ‘Not Dead Yet UK’ and ‘Care Not Killing’ will include ten empty wheel chairs, a reference to the concerns that disabled and doctors groups have raised about the lack of protections for vulnerable people.
Former Disability Rights Commissioner Baroness Jane Campbell and former Paralympian Baroness Tani Grey-Thompson will also be present.
Peter Saunders is the Chief Executive of the Christian Medical Fellowship and is part of the Care Not Killing alliance.
He said: “We’re concerned that this will especially affect those who are disabled, elderly, sick or depressed.
“The right to die can so easy become the duty to die and the law that we have at the moment is there to protect vulnerable people from exploitation.”
James Harris is from the group Dignity in Dying and is supporting Lord Falconer’s bill.
He said: “I would much rather prefer that they raise concerns openly, that they have the opportunity to speak to independent carers and their fears can be reassured, rather than leaving them to their own devices to go onto the internet and other forms of communications in order to find ways to end their lives.
Yesterday a new poll found the majority of the public support a terminally-ill person’s right to die.
The ComRes survey found 54 per cent of those questioned agreed that people ‘should have the right to end their lives whenever they choose’.
But 58 per cent accepted it was ‘impossible to make the system completely safe from abuse’.
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