Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

11 SEP 2015

MP speaks in Assisted Dying debate

Local MP Steve Brine spoke in a landmark debate on assisted dying in the House of Commons on Friday 11th September.

Labour MP Rob Marris brought his Assisted Dying Private Members Bill forward after topping the ballot of MPs after the General Election guaranteeing him time in the Commons. The Bill is largely based on one promoted by Lord Falconer in the last Parliament that was rejected by the House of Lords.

The debate, which Steve Brine said showed the House of Commons "at its very best", lasted for just over four hours and was responded to by Justice Minister Mike Penning MP.

Mr Brine, who voted against the Bill having a second reading, analysed its 13 clauses in his speech and picked apart the safeguards presented, including the availability of doctors willing to sign a declaration and the judicial oversight which he feared would be a 'rubber stamp'.

He added how he felt the current DPP guidelines on whether to prosecute under the Suicide Act 1961 were still fit for purpose and ensuring the current law operates as intended.

Concluding his speech he said: "It seems to me we live in a world today obsessed by choice and consumerism. We want to have that career and the perfect family life, we want to shop every hour of the week and now we want to choose how we die.

"I find myself agreeing with the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev Mike Hill who said last month how the supporters of this Bill present it, in part, as a simple matter of individual choice. "Choice" he said, "being the great God of a consumerised society" and I think he hits the nail on the head. I believe the choice creates the burden, it doesn't set you free."

There was a vote at the end of the debate to determine whether the Bill is given a 2nd Reading and will progress through its Commons stages before going to the House of Lords.

MPs voted by 330 votes to 118 votes against progressing the Bill.


More information ...

Hansard (full debate from start) or Steve Brine's speech

Watch Back Steve's contribution from the House

Assisted Dying Bill pages on Parliament website

Dignity in Dying

Living and Dying Well

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