Assisted Dying Rejected by U.K. Lawmakers After Divisive DebateSvenja O’Donnell and Thomas Penny
British lawmakers voted against giving terminally ill adults the right to end their lives under medical supervision.
In a free vote in the House of Commons Friday, the Assisted Dying Bill was rejected by 330 votes to 188. Prime Minister David Cameron earlier said he didn’t support the bill, which would have given people of sound mind with less than six months to live the right to ask for medical help to die.
“I don’t see a case for this measure, I don’t want to see an expansion of euthanasia in our country, I think there are dangers so I don’t support it,” Cameron told reporters in Leeds, northern England. “I do recognize that it’s right for there to be a debate.”
Such legislation has repeatedly failed to pass through Parliament, and the latest bill, introduced by opposition Labour Party lawmaker Rob Marris, divided political parties.
Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve warned that it represented a radical break with the “do no harm” principle that underpins medical ethics and practice. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said a “right to die” could become a “duty to die” if terminally ill people felt pressure to ease the emotional and financial strain on families.
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