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Telford MP Lucy Allan echoes calls over assisted dying

By Keri Trigg | Telford | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

A Shropshire MP has again called for a review into the UK's ban on assisted dying.

Lucy Allan

Lucy Allan, MP for Telford, was one of 20 cross-party MPs to jointly sign a letter to the Ministry of Justice, asking that the views of those affected are listened to and that the current law is reviewed.

The letter, published in the Guardian, said: "In this time of divisive politics, we are rarely afforded the opportunity to support a proposal that cannot, or should not, be opposed by anyone of any political belief.

"When it comes to assisted dying, it remains a divisive issue that not even all the signatories of this letter agree on. But as parliamentarians we must make policy decisions based on robust evidence.

"MPs from across the House of Commons have repeatedly asked the Ministry of Justice to look at the effects of the current blanket ban on assisted dying and how it is enforced.

"This week we heard from a group of police and crime commissioners who have now also called on the government to examine the consequences of section 2 of the 1961 Suicide Act, which criminally implicates anyone providing assistance to someone to die.

Difficult

"We know from cases such as Ann Whaley’s and Mavis Eccleston’s just this year the difficult decisions that some dying people and their families are forced into as a result of the current law.

"No matter our views on whether and to what extent assisted dying can be legalised safely, we should all agree that the only way to ensure the law is fit for purpose is to hear from those it affects most."

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Other MPs who signed the letter included Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas, Norman Lamb and Dr Sarah Wollaston.

Last month Ms Allan asked Justice Secretary Robert Buckland whether he thought the matter should be brought before Parliament.

She cited case of Noel Conway from Shrewsbury, who suffers from motor neurone disease and last year lost his case in the Supreme Court where he asked for the right to medical assistance when he chose to die.

Ms Allan said Parliament was "out of step with the people" over the issue, and said it was not right that people in his position had no rights over when they chose to die.

Anyone affected by the issues raised in this article can contact the Samaritans via samaritans.org or call 116 123.

Keri Trigg

By Keri Trigg
Reporter - @KeriTrigg_Star

Senior reporter covering Shrewsbury and South Shropshire for the Shropshire Star.

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