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Margaret Jay Former Labour leader of the House of Lords

I see this as a tightly focused and compassionate bill which will clarify the incoherent legal framework we have heard about today. I am absolutely committed to the provisions in the bill. It has a narrow, specific focus on the terminally ill and contains strict, upfront safeguards...It is an entirely appropriate measure for this country to adopt.
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R.G. Frey Philosopher

Especially with regard to taking life, slippery slope arguments have long been a feature of the ethical landscape, used to question the moral permissibility of all kinds of acts... The situation is not unlike that of a doomsday cult that predicts time and again the end of the world, only for followers to discover the next day that things are pretty much as they were... We need the evidence that... See More
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Joel Joffe Labour peer

If the Bill passes, Parliament will demonstrate we are a caring society which has compassion for the people who are suffering terribly and that we respect the right of individuals to make decisions for their own lives.
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George Carey Former Archbishop of Canterbury

When suffering is so great, when patients know they are at the end of life, make repeated pleas to die, it seems a denial of loving compassion which is the hallmark of Christianity to refuse to allow them to fulfil their own clearly stated request – after a proper process of safeguards. That is what I would want.
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John Birt Former DIrector-General of the BBC

I can see no reason for denying individuals the right to manage their own imminent, irreversible and prospectively painful, wretched, or deeply distressing death.
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The BMJ Weekly peer-reviewed medical journal

People should be able to exercise choice over their own lives which should include how and when they die, when death is imminent. In recent decades, respect for autonomy has emerged as the cardinal principle in medical ethics and underpins developments in informed consent, patient confidentiality, and advance directives.
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John Key 38th prime minister of new zealand

If I had terminal cancer, I had a few weeks to live, I was in tremendous amount of pain - if they just effectively wanted to turn off the switch and legalise that by legalising euthanasia, I'd want that.
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Polly Toynbee Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist, formerly BBC social affairs editor. Her latest book, w

For the generation that won on abortion, contraception and gay liberation, the principle was always the right to do what you like with your own body – and that includes a right to die in peace.
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Peter Singer Author: Ethics in the Real World, The Most Good You Can Do, Animal Liberation, The Life You Ca

Voluntary euthanasia occurs only when, to the best of medical knowledge, a person is suffering from an incurable and painful or extremely distressing condition. In these circumstances one cannot say that to choose to die quickly is obviously irrational.
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Stephen Hawking British physicist

We don't let animals suffer, so why humans?

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Edmund Pellegrino Bioethicist

In a society as obsessed with the costs of health care and the principle of utility, the dangers of the slippery slope... are far from fantasy... Assisted suicide is a half-way house, a stop on the way to other forms of direct euthanasia, for example, for incompetent patients by advance directive or suicide in the elderly. So, too, is voluntary euthanasia a half-way house to involuntary and non... See More

Leon Kass American physician

The prohibition against killing patients... stands as the first promise of self-restraint sworn to in the Hippocratic Oath, as medicine's primary taboo: 'I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect'... In forswearing the giving of poison when asked for it, the Hippocratic physician rejects the view that the patient's choice for death ca... See More
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Pope Benedict XVI Former Pope

Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise dis... See More
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Norman Tebbit Former Chairman of the Conservative Party

A few months ago, an elderly lady asked me how she could ensure that her wish to leave all her assets to a charity for ex-servicemen and women could be entrenched against any attempts by other would-be beneficiaries to override it. She said 'I have no children but I have several vultures awaiting my death'. This bill will be a breeding ground for vultures, individual and corporate. It creates too ... See More
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James Mackay Former Conservative Lord Chancellor

I have seen a number of people die with dignity, without committing suicide, assisted or otherwise. The suggestion seems to be implied that assisted suicide will lead inevitably to a dignified, comfortable and speedy death. Can this suggestion be justified? I have seen some evidence that this will not be the outcome.
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Patricia Morris Conservative peer

When I was 18, I broke my back in a riding accident. I was in great pain and after being taken off morphine injections, I was prescribed distalgesics. I had been very active, didn't know if I would ever walk again and feared becoming a burden to my parents who were elderly. So I became very clever at not taking all my tablets and keeping a store of them just in case. I don't think I would ever hav... See More
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Emma Nicholson Liberal Democrat peer

The wish to dispose of the old is prevalent in our society. We should fight it and not succumb to its throttling embrace through death on demand, the underpinning of this bill....Doctors, as they are the first to say, are not God. They truly cannot tell when death will steal upon us. That argument underpinning this bill is also false...I do not want our trusted NHS to turn from being the National ... See More
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Ezekiel Emanuel American oncologist

Patients who are being kept alive by technology and want to end their lives already have a recognized constitutional right to stop any and all medical interventions, from respirators to antibiotics. They do not need physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.
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Pete du Pont American lawyer and politician

From the Soviet gulag to the Nazi concentration camps and the killing fields of Cambodia, history teaches that granting the state legal authority to kill innocent individuals has dreadful consequences.
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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Supporting the ministry of Catholic bishops. Striving to promote the greater good which the Ch

As Catholic leaders and moral teachers, we believe that life is the most basic gift of a loving God- a gift over which we have stewardship but not absolute dominion. Our tradition, declaring a moral obligation to care for our own life and health and to seek such care from others, recognizes that we are not morally obligated to use all available medical procedures in every set of circumstances. But... See More

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