A recent survey by Life and Times Northern Ireland, the local social attitudes survey, showed that a three to one majority of adults in Northern Ireland is in favour of extending choices to provide a dignified death.
The assisted dying bill, which was debated again in the House of Lords on Friday, provides for an adult with a terminal condition and of sound mind as assessed by two independent doctors to be prescribed life ending medication.
It was disappointing to note several Northern Ireland members of the House of Lords in the forefront of the opposition to the bill even though it is one for
England and Wales and will not apply here. The House decided to constructively amend the bill adding further safeguards of judicial oversight and it is now a question of how rather than if the law changes.
It is important that progress made in England and Wales is mirrored here in Northern Ireland to reflect the clear wishes of the vast majority of the population. Dying people here deserve the same choice as in England and Wales.
Dignity in Dying in Northern Ireland intends to provide information for parliamentary candidates locally and will assess their responses. Anyone interested in providing support can find us on FaceBook.
Professor Bert Rima
Dignity in Dying Northern Ireland