Ruth Davidson helps assisted dying reform marketing campaign | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson helps assisted dying reform marketing campaign (Image: Getty)

Ruth Davidson is backing the Daily Express push for pressing assisted dying reform, saying she was a “coward” to ever vote towards altering the regulation.

The former chief of the Scottish Conservative Party stated a call she made in 2015 has haunted her ever since and vowed to not let the identical mistake occur once more.

And final evening she urged politicians from all sides to get up from their collective slumber and sense the power of feeling on a difficulty that impacts each household in Britain.

The mum-of-one is the most recent heavyweight identify to signal a Daily Express petition demanding a full Parliamentary debate and free vote on assisted dying.

Putting her identify to our name she stated: “I’ve fortunately signed and I encourage fellow politicians to step as much as the plate.”

“Ever since that day [I voted against a Private Members’ Bill] I have thought more and more what I did was coward’s way out. It is now time to change the law to help people have a better death.”

We are campaigning alongside terminally ill TV star Dame Esther Rantzen, 83, and charity Dignity in Dying in an attempt to change laws that prevent the seriously sick from taking control of their death.

Assisted dying is illegal in the UK and can be prosecuted as murder or manslaughter under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Ms Davidson, 45, admitted her disgust at dismissing a bill in the Scottish Parliament due to its poor drafting, rather than fully appreciating the difficult, emotional, conflicting subject matter.

The devout Christian, who gave birth to son Finn, 5, via IVF in 2018, struggled to reconcile her faith, the views of her NHS doctor sister, and constituents when voting against assisted dying.

Her stance has since changed, with feelings of guilt magnified as those close to her suffer with degenerative and terminal illnesses, and she has found lifelong happiness with fiancee Jen Wilson.

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She stated: “I am delighted that someone with the clout of Dame Esther has come forward in partnership with the Daily Express to put this issue front and centre.”

“She has spent a lifetime working to get a fair deal for so many and is an incredibly sensible voice in this debate that I hope she can take some of the fear factor away.”

“That is why I am more than happy to support this petition.”

Fundamental to her change of coronary heart was having her non secular beliefs across the creation of life challenged by her use of IVF to conceive along with her Irish-born same-sex associate.

Speaking completely to the Daily Express she stated: “I look at the number of people going to Switzerland, or taking their own lives while suffering. These are, of course, individual choices, but there is a lot about my life [in changing my mind on assisted dying] and certainly becoming mum through IVF. All decisions begin with life, but not at the end of life, and it seems a big imbalance.”

There are people very close to me who are consumed by dementia which has ripped their personality and spark away, and while I know this is a separate issue, it led me to fully consider the issues people face as you near the end of life.

“We all know that in 12-months there is going to be a general election. So let’s start the process of having a proper, grown-up conversation about this. It is so important, particularly if you are either getting close to the end, or caring for elderly relatives, to know what’s available and what the law is. We have reached the point where as a country we should at the very least have a conversation rather than sleepwalking into the abyss.”

READ MORE Minister hit by brain tumour joins calls for change on assisted dying

“This is not a party political issue, there is no left or right, no class divide. Death doesn’t respect gender, where someone lives or the disease they face, but empathy and a good death is something everyone deserves.”

“In almost no other area of life is doctor God. As patients, we are nearly always involved in our treatment choices, yet at the end of life it is denied. That to me seems unfair. I think it is time to change the law to help people have a better death.”

Ms Davidson served as Scottish Tory chief between 2011 and 2019 and chief of the Scottish Conservative Party within the Scottish Parliament between 2020 to 2021.

Ideologically centrist and pro-Union, she gained enormous assist as a passionate advocate of same-sex rights, and remains to be tipped as a possible future Tory chief.

She now sits within the House of Lords as Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links within the County of Fife and made her maiden speech in 2021 supporting Baroness Meacher’s Assisted Dying Bill which failed when it was not given time to be learn by MPs. She is now a passionate supporter of Dignity in Dying.

Ms Davidson stated: “Even at the time it felt like cowardice and every life-change, new chapter and signpost since has pointed me in only one direction – that it is time to change the law to let people have

more control over end of life decisions, up to and including how and where we die, who is there and the pain relief and treatment options we choose.

“The intellectual arguments haven’t changed – it is surely wrong that people who seek release are kept in pain; that every eight days a terminally ill Briton travels to Switzerland to end their life; that this route is only open to those with up to £10,000 to pay for it; that 300 terminally ill people in the UK commit suicide each year to end their own suffering. Wrong, too, that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, helping a terminally ill person to end their own life can carry a 14-year jail sentence, while in Scotland the same action opens the door to a culpable homicide charge.”

The Royle Family and Brookside actress, 80, said her harrowing loss forced her to broach the subject.

It comes as Dame Esther Rantzen and the Daily Express continue to push for MPs to freely debate and vote on legalising assisted dying in the UK with our petition and form.

But for me, it was something more personal and elemental. The first change was going through the process of IVF. The ability to have agency over medicalised help at the start of life – the systems and processes of egg retrieval, embryo implant, choosing donor material sifted by everything from eye colour to family medical history – blows apart the mystique of birth as something god given or planned.

“That the church has so little to say on the 50,000 people in the UK each year who choose medical intervention to start life, but so much to say about those desperate for agency over their own end of life seems to me a huge imbalance.”

“The second personal step I have taken is to watch a number of people close to me with varying forms of dementia and watching the person they were being consumed by a disease that strips them of themselves – their memory, relationships, personality and spark.”

“I think there is a greater imbalance. Those who wish this – who desperately want it – are not imposing that same outcome on those who don’t. But those arguing against, are stopping others from even having a choice.”

“We need all political parties to include a manifesto commitment to parliamentary time on this issue and a free vote for each member. And we need to have a proper grown up conversation in this country about this most difficult of issues.”

In addition to our military of readers and former That’s Life! presenter Dame Esther, our marketing campaign can be backed by Royle Family and Brookside actress Sue Johnston, 80, Olivier Award-winning Succession actress Dame Harriet Walter, 73, and British comic and best-selling writer Tony Hawks, 64, who misplaced his father to Parkinson’s.

Lifelong campaigner and mother-of-three Dame Esther, who was recognized with stage 4 lung most cancers in January final yr, stated: “At the moment, if I reach a stage where I am forced to go to Dignitas to have an assisted death and my family do anything to support me or keep me company at the end, they risk prosecution. For me, and patients like me, there’s no time to lose.”