The 19th Ordinary Meeting of the 165th Session of the Literific took place on the 20th of March in the Senate Room and was attended by 61 members. We had a game of Just Three Minutes which was won by Brendan Kelters.
Questions to the Council were heard from Torr Coggan, Nic Brimza and Jack Thompson. In President’s Question Time, questions were heard from Calvin Black, Paddy Mallon, Nic Brimna, Nick Millington, Jonny Finlay and Nathan Mullholland and they all sort of focused on President Kydd’s opinions on different news items. We then went to the debate.
The motion was This House Supports the Right to Die.
Vincent Wooding opened the debate. He said he wasn’t condoning people taking the decision to die lightly but that it should be the right of those that are terminally ill, or those that feel they can’t go on to not have to suffer. He argued that there are various places around the world where it is legal and that it is unfair to trust a person to do things within society but not allow them the ability to choose how they die.
Sammy Wade then opened the case for the opposition. He said that measures that end life prematurely are counterproductive. He argued that it would undermine the basic function of the legal and health authorities which exist to protect life and that supporting the right to die would be incompatible with these social responsibilities.
Jack Thompson continued for the proposition. He explained active and passive euthanasia to the House and that dying is a phase. He said that doctors have become good at extending the dying phase which is not in the best interests of the patient. By allowing an individual to have a poor quality of life it does more harm than letting them end it. He talked about the ethical responsibilities of doctors and the importance of freedom of choice.
Nathan Cantley continued for the opposition. He tried to argue his point and even got an extra five minutes to speak but, alas. He went through different parts of society, the government and the health care system and questioned their stance on the right to die. He said that society is confused about the right to die, that there are no guidelines and no framework for us to be able to support it.
Naomh Gibson closed for the proposition. She argued that by giving people the right to die it wouldn’t undervalue the right to life. Instead of worrying about the required model she asked the House to concentrate on the right to control the last part of your life when so much is out of your hands. She asked the House to consider why someone would wan the right to die and if you could deny them it.
Nathan Anderson then closed the debate. He said that everyone has their own perspectives on it but that he believed vulnerable people should be given the best possible care as opposed to the right to die. He commented on the negative effects on others and the need to encourage dignity and self-worth. He argued that the right to die could be abused by family members putting pressure on a vulnerable person and that it would not be a choice.
The debate then went to the floor. Questions were heard from James McAlister, Nathan Cantley, Andrew Carruthers, Conor Hayes, Nic Brimza, Paddy Mallon, Nick Millington, John McGrath, Brendan Kelters and Henry Adams. Summaries were heard and the debate went to a vote. The motion passed with 12 abstentions, 6 nayes, and 33 ayes.