Leeds right-to-die campaigner to continue fight despite Commons defeat

RIGHT-TO-DIE campaigner Paul Lamb has vowed to continue his legal battle to die with dignity despite MPs voting overwhelmingly against a new law on the matter.

Friday, 11th September 2015, 6:03 pm
Right-to-die campaigner Paul Lamb. Picture: Tony Johnson

Mr Lamb, 60, of Bramley, was last in court in July with the family of the late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson in their latest challenge to campaign for disabled people having the right to be helped to die.

Mr Nicklinson’s challenge was rejected by the courts, who said Parliament should be the ones to decide on any change in assisted dying laws.

Today MPs rejected a bill put forward by Labour MP Rob Marris which would have allowed some terminally ill adults to ask for medical help to end their life. Some 330 MPs opposed the Assisted Dying Bill while just 118 backed the proposals.

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While he was not surprised by the Commons defeat, Mr Lamb, who was paralysed in a road accident 20 years ago, said his own fight would continue.

“This is a long haul,” he said. “When my case came before the European courts they said that they couldn’t rule specifically on my case because it had not yet been heard in a domestic court.

“My legal team are in the process of taking it back to the Supreme Court so the case can be heard here at home.

“While it’s too soon to know how the vote might affect the case, I believe I have the right for it to be heard on its own merits.

“It’s no great shock what happened in the Houses of Parliament - I’d be a fool to expect any more - but it’s keeping the debate open.”

Anti-euthanasia campaigners said the result was an unequivocal rejection of a “dangerous” piece of legislation but supporters of reform insisted it showed that MPs were “ridiculously out of touch” with the public.

Speaking in Leeds earlier today, David Cameron warned that there were “dangers” in the right to die and made clear his opposition to the Bill.