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Significant bills will be discussed concerning end of life care and decisions during the next House of Lords sitting. This includes a revised Assisted Dying Bill and Right to Die at Home Bill.
In 2014, Lord Falconer proposed the Assisted Dying Bill allowing terminally ill, mentally competent adults to have an assisted death after being approved by two doctors. Although two opposition amendments aiming to derail the Bill were defeated in 2015, the General Election took precedence and the Bill lapsed before it could be fully scrutinised and ratified by Parliament.
A reformed version of the Assisted Dying Bill towards the end of 2015, it was defeated during the second reading following a four–hour debate. 2017 iterations were also reluctantly rejected by Parliament.
On 28th January 2020, Lord Falconer will reintroduce the Assisted Dying Bill in the hope of making it legal to assist a terminally ill person in ending their life and suffering without facing the threat of prosecution.
Similarly, Lord Warner’s Right to Die at Home Bill will make provision for any eligible person resident in the United Kingdom to have an effective right to die at home or at the place that the person regards as home as opposed to the sterile and unfamiliar hospital environment.
Having already been read in July last year and consequently delayed in the proroguing of Parliament at the end of last year, it is hoped the latest version will garner similar levels of support when it is discussed on 30 January 2020.