(NB. Those supporting the Bill use terms such as assisted dying and death with dignity to make killing someone / assisting a suicide more palatable. Those of us opposed to legalizing assisted suicide think it’s important to call it what it is and so we use the term assisted suicide.)
The Assisted Dying Bill is doing the rounds again. This time Rob Marris, MP for Wolverhampton South is bringing this private members bill to the Commons for a full debate on Friday September 11 2015. This will be the first time in over 18 years that Commons rather than the Lords have had the chance to vote on this subject so it’s essential that we let our MPs know that we oppose legalising AS.
The best way to do this is to pay your MP a visit before they finish for the summer on the 21st July. Use this opportunity tell your MP that you oppose this Bill, to find out how they’re going to vote and most importantly, to tell your MP to attend the debate on September 11th – and hopefully to vote against it.
An actual meeting with your MP will have the most impact. MPs will see you at a ‘surgery’ (meeting) in their constituency (the area that your MP represents). Sometimes you have to make an appointment and some MPs will hold drop in sessions. If there’s a few of you in the same constituency from NDYUK, you could always go together? Your MP should also be able to make a house call if visiting them would be difficult.
If you need to find out who your MP is, just put your postcode into www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/ The parliament.uk website will also help you find your MP’s webpage detailing when they hold constituency surgeries and how to make an appointment to see them.
Remember, an MP has a duty to see their constituents and an MP is meant to represent a constituent’s interests even if they disagree.
NDYUK will have an information sheet available with key points for you to print out and leave with your MP. Your personal reasons for opposing the legalisation of assisted suicide however, will have the most impact – after all, your local MP is more likely to be concerned about issues that directly affect their constituents. If your MP is also opposed to the Bill then you could ask them to help with our campaign, to debate against it in the Commons and to publicly speak out against the Bill in the media.
Most importantly, whether or not your MP shares your view, ask them to attend the debate and vote on September 11th.
Please make an appointment to see your MP before July 21st and if you really cannot visit them, write a letter or at least email them before July 21st.
Let us know how it goes, how your MP intends to vote & if you need any more information. Thanks and good luck!