Assisted Dying Bill: ‘Safeguards weren’t robust enough to protect the vulnerable’

Iain Stewart MP in today's debate
Iain Stewart MP in today's debate

MPs have rejected plans for a right to die bill following a passionate debate in Parliament today.

330 MPs voted against allowing terminally ill adults to end their lives under the supervision of doctors.

Agreeing with the majority, Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart said he could not support the legislation - for fear that vulnerable people could be put at risk.

He said: “I was not convinced that safeguards in the bill for vulnerable people were sufficiently robust.

“The debate also exposed many unintended consequences that could result from the bill.

“In addition, many MPs who are qualified medics made the point that modern medicine does allow for proper and dignified care to ease the pain and distress of the terminally ill.”
Mr Stewart said the debate was “one of the best” he had heard during his time in Parliament.

He hopes now that focus will turn on improving patient care .

He said: “I am grateful to the hundreds of constituents, on both sides of the argument, who have taken the time to contact me about it.

“There are many reasons I could not support the legislation, which I will expand to any constituent who wants to contact me.

“Although the Bill has not been successful today, I do hope that it will pave the way to improvements in palliative care.”

Supporters of the Bill argued that the current law on assisted dying forces terminally ill patients to end their lives abroad.

118 MPs voted in favour of the Bill following today’s debate.