Lords reflect on assisted dying in emotionally-charged debate

We can live better”, claimed Baroness Meacher as the House of Lords began its second reading of her private member’s bill on assisted dying.

The chair of Dignity in Dying said the absence of a legal way to end one’s life, “turns compassionate friends and family into criminals and causes thousands of dying people to attempt to take their own lives alone in order to safeguard their relatives.”

Arguing against the private member’s bill, the Archbishop of Cantbury described the proposals as “unsafe”.

The standout moment of the debate came during Lord Meacher’s opening speech, when she surprised the House of Lords by reading out a statement by Lord Field. Through the letter, Lord Field announced he was dying and that he had changed his mind in favour of assisted dying as the result of the experiences of a Conservative MP friend.