Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 00:00, 12 July 2014 |
Updated: 11:20, 12 July 2014
The former Archbishop of Canterbury has publicly expressed his support for the right to die campaign, despite an opposing view of the current Archbishop.
Lord George Carey, who was Archbishop from 1991 to 2002, has said that it would not be "anti-Christian" to change the law on assisted dying for the terminally ill.
His announcement comes just days before the bill to legalise assisted dying will be discussed in the House of Lords.
Under the new bill, tabled by Labour peer Lord Falconer, terminally ill adults from England and Wales would legally be able to receive help to end their own lives.
The right to die campaign has always been opposed by the Church of England bishops sitting in the Lords and the current Archbishop Justin Welby says that there has been an alarming rise in assisted deaths where it has been legalised.
He adds that the bill is "mistaken and dangerous" and that if the change in law was agreed, many elderly people would be "put under pressure to end their lives if assisted suicide were permitted by law".
But Lord Carey wrote in the Daily Mail that he has decided to support the bill "in the face of reality of needless suffering" and in the wake of cases such as Tony Nicklinson.
Mr Nicklinson, who suffered from locked-in syndrome, campaigned for years for the right to die until he died two years ago.
Lord Carey said Mr Nickinson's case had exerted the "deepest influence" on him.
He said: "His distress made me question my motives in previous debates. Had i been putting doctrine before compassion, dogma before human dignity?"
Under the new law, the person would have to be able to prove their mental capacity to make an uninfluenced decision to end their lives.
Two doctors would have to confirm that the individual was terminally ill and assess the patient before a decision was made.
The change in law would not legalise assisted suicide and Lord Carey emphasized that he was not in support of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
The bill will be discussed in the House of Lords on Friday where already 110 peers are listed to speak.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.