An Assisted Dying Bill proposed by Lord Falconer has generated heated and passionate debate in Parliament.
If the Bill became law it would allow doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally ill patients judged to have less than six months to live, an aspect that some opponents say could put pressure on the dying to end their lives and cease to be a burden to those who have to look after them. Other opponents say that assisting the terminally ill to die would be colluding in the idea that someone coming to the end of their life is of no further value.
Supporters of the change in the law say that those in unbearable pain should be allowed to hasten their end, reduce their suffering and die with dignity. And that the sanctity of life should include the right to death.