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Charity's unease at Assisted Dying Bill

By David Hughes

Disability campaigners have voiced concern about an attempt to change the law on assisted dying as the legislation faced its latest parliamentary hurdle.

Supporters of a change claimed opponents were determined to "strangle" the Assisted Dying Bill by using up the available time when it returns to the House of Lords for detailed scrutiny today.

The controversial proposals by Labour ex-Justice Secretary Lord Falconer, which would offer the chance of assisted dying to terminally ill patients deemed mentally capable and within six months of likely death, will be considered line-by-line in the legislation's committee stage.

Disability charity Scope's chief executive Richard Hawkes said: "Many disabled people are really worried about a change in the law on assisted suicide.

"They are concerned that it will lead to disabled people, and other vulnerable people, feeling under pressure to end their lives.

"The campaign to legalise assisted suicide reinforces deep-seated beliefs that the lives of disabled people are not worth as much as other people's."

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