Lord Joffe: "My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. The Bill follows previous Bills of the same nature brought forward in 2003, 2004 and 2005. None was proceeded with in order to allow a Select Committee, chaired by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, to consider the issues. The committee took evidence over nine months in the United Kingdom, the state of Oregon in the USA, the Netherlands and Switzerland and reported in April last year.
After the Take Note debate on the Committee's report, I introduced this Bill, which had its First Reading on 9 November last year. The Bill is modelled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been in force in Oregon for eight years and has operated satisfactorily with no credible evidence of abuse. I am pleased to be in a position to say that the Bill is supported by a majority of the members of the Select Committee, including two former Ministers of Health. The Bill would allow a doctor, at the persistent and informed request of a terminally ill patient who has capacity and is suffering unbearably, to prescribe medication for self-administration by the patient in order to end his suffering by ending his life... "
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