MP still unsure on assisted dying vote

Missing Abid Shaif has been found
Missing Abid Shaif has been found

Iain Stewart MP remains undecided ahead of tomorrow’s vote to legalise assisted dying.

MPs will debate the emotive issue in the House of Commons for the first time in around 20 years.

Mr Stewart says it will be “one of the hardest decisions” he has had to make during his time in parliament.

The bill, brought by Labour’s Rob Marris, sets out a case to “enable competent adults who are terminally ill to be provided at their request with specified assistance to end their own life”.

Critics worry that vulnerable elderly people could be pressured into the decision to die prematurely, while supporters of the bill argue the current law on assisted dying forces terminally ill patients to end their lives abroad.

Mr Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South said: “The assisted dying bill is a highly emotive subject and I have been inundated with constituents and groups urging me one way or the other.

“I have not yet made my final decision. The vote is tomorrow and I will be listening to all sides of the argument and will likely make my decision when the division bells are called.

“There are powerful arguments on both sides. I have no doubt this will be one of the hardest decisions I have had to make during my time as an MP.”

Under the bill, terminally ill patients believed to have no more than six months to live would be allowed a lethal dose of drugs to end their life if approved by two doctors.

The High Court would have to be satisfied that the patient had demonstrated a “voluntary, clear, settled and informed wish” to end their life, was of sound mind and over 18.