MND sufferer's tragic plight recalled by Telford MP as she calls for assisted dying inquiry

A Shropshire MP made a passionate call for an inquiry to be held into the emotive subject of assisted dying.

Lucy Allan has passionately called for an inquiry to be held into assisted dying
Lucy Allan has passionately called for an inquiry to be held into assisted dying

Telford MP Lucy Allan quoted the experiences of one of her constituents in a debate in Westminster Hall that was held in response to a petition.

Some 20 MPs spoke in the debate on Monday with many of them wanting an inquiry to be held.

Ms Allan quotes the experience of her constituent Sarah and her husband Steve, who suffered with motor neurone disease.

Ms Allan: “My beloved husband Steve was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2011. What a day that was. It was like a tsunami had hit us.

"Steve was so brave—a true warrior—but MND is not a fight that can be won.

"To watch the man I loved, the father to my three children, lose every single scrap of dignity for so long was completely heartbreaking. In truth I was never ready to say goodbye to him, but watching him suffer in that way was so cruel. Steve deserved the right to choose, the right to say when enough is enough.”

Ms Allan concluded: "Who are we to deny Steve and others like him that freedom and that choice?"

Debates in Westminster Hall give MPs the chance to air their views on subjects but do not change the law. MPs called for the chance to have a vote, and they heard that the Government plans to provide the time for a debate.

Ms Allan added: "When terminally ill people have taken their cases before the courts, as in the case of Shropshire resident Noel Conway, the courts have repeatedly affirmed that assisted dying is a matter for Parliament.

"We cannot shirk that responsibility."

Ms Allan said she hoped that MPs will have the opportunity to hold an inquiry into the issue of assisted dying.

She recognised that many people hold religious views on the issue. But she said: "I deeply respect the religious views of others on all subjects, and it is their right to express their views and live them out.

"However, in a liberal democracy, the religious views of some do not restrict the rights and freedom of others, and so it is with this issue.

"When we debated assisted dying in Parliament in 2015, it was done with great respect for differing views, and it has been disappointing to see that polarisation is creeping into this debate.

"Instead of debating the arguments, we have seen attacks on campaign groups and a determination to conflate the tragedy of suicide with the right of the terminally ill to decide the manner of their death. We must choose our words with care and have the humility to understand that those who disagree with us are not motivated by malign intent, or are somehow less virtuous."

The debate concluded that it has discussed the issue.

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