Belfast Telegraph

Ulster MPs back rules on assisted dying cases

A Northern Ireland MP has told the House of Commons of his brother’s fight for life following a motorbike crash.

Strangford DUP MP Jim Shannon was speaking as MPs debated assisted dying on the floor of the House of Commons for the first time since 1970.

At the end of the debate, they agreed to back the current prosecution guidelines, which say a decision to prosecute must be in the public interest and must take account of the suspect's motivation.

Mr Shannon said: “My brother was a motorbike man, and he raced bikes. He came off and was seriously injured. He was in a coma for 19 weeks and a machine kept him alive. The prayers of God’s people, the skills of the surgeon and the palliative care kept him alive.”

Most of Northern Ireland’s Westminster contingent signed a motion calling for no relaxation of the current guidelines.

Alliance MP Naomi Long said assisted dying is “a step too far”.

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