Paula's Statement on Assisted Dying

End of life care is an issue which is extremely complex and stirs such strong emotions from both sides of the debate.  It is vital that we find clarity in the law surrounding this.

 

Currently there are many people who may be helped to die by doctors, nurses or family members who risk being charged with assisting suicide or murder while they assist a loved one who is begging for help to put an end to their suffering.  This must be a horrible situation for anyone to be in.

 

As such, I believe this is an issue which we as a country must look at again.  It is absolutely essential that were any changes to be made, that only those of absolute sound mind, and they alone, should have the decision.  Airtight safeguards must be in place to ensure there is no abuse of any system put forward.

 

For those living with permanent and incurable suffering, who have made a clear decision, free from coercion, to end their lives and who are physically unable to do so themselves have the additional burden of knowing what they ask of family will give them additional consequences after they have gone.  This is a situation that adds more stress to an already awful situation.

 

I have received many letters on this topic from both sides, and I will continue to listen to any and all constituents who contact me on this.  I am clear that high quality support, guidance and palliate care must remain whatever the outcome of this debate.


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