Conservative Diary

« The Lib Dem attacks on the Conservatives get even more personal | Main | Chris Grayling says Baroness Scotland has to resign »

David Cameron signals strong opposition to assisted dying, stating that its consequences would be "dangerous for society"

As the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, reportedly prepares to rule that those who help a sick relative to die will not face prosecution, David Cameron has signalled his strong opposition to euthanasia or assisted dying.

Today's Daily Mail reprints excerpts from a letter the Tory leader wrote to pro-life campaigners three years ago - but which a spokesman for Mr Cameron confirms are very much still his views on the matter:

"The letter says: 'I would not have voted for this or any Bill legalising euthanasia or assisted dying.' He added that there was a fine line between 'allowing nature to take its course' and allowing doctors to accelerate death. 'I do not think we should tread over this line and we should not allow doctors or others positively to accelerate death - because I think the long-term consequences of permitting such action are too likely to be dangerous for society. I do not believe we should place anyone in this position (of being a burden) and believe that any such change in the law may have a profound impact on the relationship of terminally ill patients with their doctors'."

The party leader's office has reiterated, however, that the issue of assisted suicide, as a matter of conscience, would continue to be a free vote issue in Parliament.

Last month, 54% of Conservative members said that they believed people "should be able to die at a time of their own choosing".

Jonathan Isaby


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.