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“Lacking a coherent view of how people might live successfully all the way to their very end, we have allowed our fates to be controlled by the imperatives of medicine, technology, and strangers.”

– Dr. Atul Gawande

“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte  

“There are few presumptions in human relations more dangerous than the idea that one knows what another human being needs better than they do themselves.”

– Michael Ignatieff

“When suffering is so great, when patients know they are at the end of life, make repeated pleas to die, it seems a denial of loving compassion which is the hallmark of Christianity to refuse to allow them to fulfil their own clearly stated request – after a proper process of safeguards. That is what I would want.” 

– Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton

"I can see no reason for denying individuals the right to manage their own imminent, irreversible and prospectively painful, wretched, or deeply distressing death."  

– Lord Birt 

“I do not want artificial feeding or to be on an artificial breathing machine – I don't want people to do their damnedest to keep me alive.”  

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“The individual should be the person who decides not the state...there will be very clear safeguards.”  

– Norman Lamb, UK Minister for Care and Support

“It is discrimination against the disabled to deny them the right to kill themselves that able bodied people have."  

“We don’t let animals suffer, so why should your pain be prolonged against your wishes?”

– Stephen Hawking, astrophysicist with motor neurone disease

“If the Bill passes, Parliament will demonstrate we are a caring society which has compassion for the people who are suffering terribly and that we respect the right of individuals to make decisions for their own lives.”  

– Lord Joel Joffe

“The Bill is not pressuring, encouraging or inviting anybody to die. It is giving them a choice that they do not have at present.” 

– The Earl of Glasgow

“It is a paradox that while we have made huge progress in medicine, enabling some of us to live longer, for a number of terminally ill people the end can still bring loss of control and autonomy and pain that even palliative care fails to alleviate.”  

– The Observer newspaper, declaring a change in the law was “imperative”

"’My husband's death was beautiful,’ Pam Wald told The Observer of her husband Ben who was medically assisted to die in Oregon. She said that when the Walds were ready, they summoned family and friends, read poems and sang songs before watching Ben swallow his pill and say goodbye. ‘It's what I would want to have. My god, this is what dying should be for all of us.’”

– The Observer

“For the generation that won on abortion, contraception and gay liberation, the principle was always the right to do what you like with your own body – and that includes a right to die in peace.”  

– Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

“Neither the terminally ill nor their doctors know exactly where they stand,” The Guardian said, urging Parliament to decide the issue. “In neither country is the law clear cut. Time and again, it is the lawyers and the judges who are called on to interpret the minutiae of laws and guidance which many on both sides of the debate consider unsatisfactory.”

– The Guardian

“People should be able to exercise choice over their own lives which should include how and when they die, when death is imminent. In recent decades, respect for autonomy has emerged as the cardinal principle in medical ethics and underpins developments in informed consent, patient confidentiality, and advance directives.” 

– British Medical Journal

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