Assisted dying petition passes 100k signatures – will be debated
A UK Government petition to hold a parliamentary vote on assisted dying has passed 100,000 signatures in less than a month, and will be considered for Westminster Hall debate in Parliament. Humanists UK has welcomed the news, thanked members and supporters who have already signed and encouraged others to add their signatures.
This petition calls for the UK Government to allocate parliamentary time for assisted dying to be fully debated in the House of Commons and to allow MPs a vote on the issue.
The government has yet to respond to the petition.
This is the latest news amid a surge of support for assisted dying. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, restated his longstanding support for assisted dying, and said as Prime Minister he would be open to making parliamentary time for a free vote. Last year, several senior politicians, including Conservatives Michael Gove, Alicia Kearns, Mel Stride, and Tobias Ellwood, have said that the time has come for another vote.
High-profile figures such as Dame Esther Rantzen, Dame Diana Rigg, Sue Johnston, Dame Prue Leith, and Dame Joan Ruddock have brought media attention to the issue in recent months as well, all of them urging MPs and peers to recognise the need for a compassionate assisted dying law.
Nathan Stilwell, Assisted Dying Campaigner for Humanists UK, said:
‘This is yet another indication of the overwhelming appetite for our outdated law on assisted dying to be changed. There is no issue in public life that the public backs more strongly than assisted dying. The campaign has higher public approval ratings than the monarchy or English football.’
‘I urge everyone to continue to sign this petition today and add to the growing momentum of support. It’s cruel that the current law forces certain individuals to suffer when countries like Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands have had compassionate assisted dying laws with effective strong safeguards for decades.’
Humanists UK campaigns for a humane law with robust safeguards so that terminally ill and incurably suffering people can freely choose when and how they die, if and when they should decide their suffering is too great to bear, and once palliative care options have been tried and exhausted.