Archbishop Peter Smith, speaking on behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales, welcomed the decision by Parliament to defeat the Assisted Dying Bill (No 2) at Second Reading. In his statement, the Archbishop said:
'I welcome Parliament’s recognition of the grave risks that this bill posed to the lives of our society’s most vulnerable people. There is much excellent practice in palliative care which we need to celebrate and promote, and I hope now the debate on assisted suicide is behind us, that this will become a focus for political action. I am encouraged by the participation of so many Catholics throughout England and Wales in this important discussion and hope that everyone involved will continue to support calls for better quality care as life nears its end.'
Cardinal Vincent added his appreciation: ‘I thank all Catholics in our parishes who took the time to write to or visit their Member of Parliament to express their concern about the Bill. It was an important moment of witness to our Christian faith and the value it places on each and every human life. Now let's strengthen personal palliative care and see it developed in all our hospitals!’
On 11 September, Members of Parliament debated a Private Member's Bill to legalise assisted suicide. In the vote that followed, MPs soundly defeated the bill, with 118 voting in favour and 330 voting against it.