Lord Joffe's new bill aims to legalise assisted suicide only. The House of Lords will debate the Bill on 12 May 2006...
On 9 November 2005 Lord Joffe re-introduced his Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill into the House of Lords in a form which would legalise assisted suicide but not euthanasia.
The Bill will be debated in the House of Lords early on Friday 12 May 2006. The first stage of this is a second reading debate on the principles of the Bill. By custom and practice there is no vote at second reading debates in the House of Lords.
The second reading debate will then be followed by the Committee stage (beginning two weeks or so later) where the House of Lords considers detailed amendments to the Bill. There are likely to be a large number of these put forward by opponents of the Bill, and so the Committee stage is likely to be held over a number of (non-consecutive) days to allow full consideration of them.
There is then a final report and third reading stage when the Bill, as amended in Committee, can be further amended and is then voted on by the House. This would be likely to be in the late Spring of next year.
Even if the Bill were to pass all its stages in the House of Lords, it would still need to go through the House of Commons to become law. But because the Government has effectively taken a neutral position on the Bill it seems unlikely that the Bill would be given time to be debated and progress through the House of Commons during the current Parliamentary session, which will end in Autumn 2006.