Dame Esther’s petition provides MPs 200,000 causes to finish merciless assisted dying ban | UK | News | EUROtoday

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MPs have been given 200,000 causes to “listen to the voice of the people” and finish the merciless ban on assisted dying, Dame Esther Rantzen has mentioned.

A petition began by the Daily Express surged previous the most recent signature milestone after turning into the most well-liked on the Government’s official web site.

It has already secured a landmark debate which can put the problem within the political highlight at Westminster Hall on Monday, April 29.

Dame Esther, 83, mentioned: “This petition shows 200,000 reasons why it is time for MPs to listen to the voice of the people. Sadly I won’t be able to attend next week’s debate but I’ll be watching from home.

“Although the debate can’t change the law, I hope that so many powerful voices will take part that the Government will be forced to pay attention and make time for this life-and-death issue to be thoroughly investigated.

READ MORE: Assisted dying debate must move to how law will change, MND campaigner says

Thanksgiving Service In Memory of Dame Vera Lynn

Thousands have backed Dame Esther’s call for greater end of life choice (Image: Getty)

“So many of us feel that the current law is cruel and must be changed.”

The Daily Express Give Us Our Last Rights campaign, launched two years in the past, is main requires a change within the legislation to permit assisted dying for terminally in poor health adults.

It obtained a serious increase when Dame Esther bravely revealed she had registered with Dignitas in Zurich, Switzerland, following her prognosis of stage 4 lung most cancers.

Thousands have since rallied to again her name for the fitting to die and, earlier this week, the Childline founder joined a personal assembly with the Express and MP Tonia Antoniazzi, who will open the petition debate.

Dame Esther, a lifelong campaigner, revealed she was shocked by the outpouring of help she obtained after talking about her state of affairs in December.

She mentioned: “When I mentioned it in a podcast, I had no idea it was going to get the traction it did. It just seemed to resonate with so many people.

“The fact that the Express and Dignity in Dying picked it up is a reflection of the fact that as you get older, and circumstances mean that you witness or know of the deaths of people close to you, you become aware that as wonderful as palliative care can be, it doesn’t always create the sort of pain-free dignified death.

“When it doesn’t work and people are longing to die and say so to those around them, and everybody is helpless and can’t give them what they most want, then that becomes the abiding memory.”

Dame Esther's daughter Rebecca Wilcox

Dame Esther’s daughter Rebecca Wilcox has joined her battle (Image: Jonathan Buckmaster)

Fear that her household could be left with horrific reminiscences of her last days and hours led her to contact the Swiss assisted dying clinic, Dame Esther defined.

She added: “If those you love, their last memory of you is you struggling, in pain, in acute discomfort with a loss of dignity, maybe asking to be helped to die, that memory acts as a barrier to all the positive memories.

“It’s not how I want my loved ones to remember me. That undoes for me the joy of having a family that I’ve had so many happy times with, if all they can remember is the pain.”

However, the grandmother-of-five’s plans have been dealt a blow when she realised her household would threat prosecution in the event that they accompanied her.

“I signed up to Dignitas and then discovered that they couldn’t come with me,” she mentioned. “Even if I could afford the air fares for all of us, it would put them at risk of a police investigation – even though I’m not known for keeping my views quiet.”

The assembly was a part of Ms Antoniazzi’s analysis forward of the essential debate. The Welsh Labour MP additionally opened the final Westminster Hall debate on assisted dying on July 4 2022.

David Minns and his son Matt Ryan

The Express marketing campaign launched in 2022 with the story of David Minns and his son Matt (Image: Phil Harris)

Then, Ms Antoniazzi broke down in tears as she learn heartbreaking tales of people that suffered indignity on the finish of their lives.

She shared examples together with the case of Gareth Ward, whose father Norman shot himself within the head when life with terminal prostate most cancers grew to become insufferable.

Dame Esther mentioned it was essential that the voices of individuals like Gareth – who’ve been pressured to observe family members undergo – are heard later this month.

The That’s Life! presenter added: “Painful though it is, if we can actually describe what it’s like watching someone die in agony, someone you love who is asking for assistance and is being denied it, that’s what people need to understand.”

Arguments against assisted dying were also discussed. Opponents often say that if palliative care were improved in the UK then assisted dying would not be needed.

But Dame Esther said it was clear that “the best palliative care in the world cannot give everyone a pain-free, dignified death”.

She urged medics to read a recent Commons Health Select Committee report which found that the introduction of assisted dying in other countries had often come with improvements to end-of-life care.

“We aren’t criticising palliative care practitioners – we need them and we value them,” Dame Esther said.

“But the fact is that it’s not possible always to give people the death that they choose themselves.

“We believe that assisted dying being legalised under these circumstances would strengthen what they do, their very important branch of medicine.

“I know that some doctors say, ‘I don’t want to do this. This is not what I trained to do’. Just as we, the patients, should be given the choice, doctors should have the choice.”

Dame Esther paid tribute to other public figures, including actress Diana Ring, who spoke out around the same time she did.

And she revealed that of the deluge of messages she received, only one opposed her decision and said assisted dying was a crime for religious reasons.

She mentioned: “If your religion precludes you having an assisted death, or for any reason you oppose it, that’s your choice.

“All we’re asking is that people who make a different choice should also be allowed to have the death that they wish.”

Repeating her demand for MPs to be given a free vote on the problem, the broadcaster urged politicians to “respond as human beings, and think about their own loved ones, their parents, their children”.

She added: “If they had a terminal illness which caused them such intense pain they wanted to die, what would it be like to be prevented from giving them the pain-free death they’re begging for?”

Ms Antoniazzi instructed Dame Esther the talk was certain to be a “pivotal moment”. She added: “I feel very strongly because I’m probably of a similar age to your daughter and my mother has been very unwell.

“I hope that it has been good for your family to be able to talk about it. One of the things we do need to talk about as a society is dying – we don’t do it well enough.”