Who decides how your MP votes?

  Forum Editor 13:29 13 Sep 2015

The recent rejection by parliament of the bill to allow the 'Right to Die' set me thinking about how MPs vote.

This wa a 'free vote' allowing MPs to vote according to their conscience, and they voted against the bill by a majority of 212 - a decisive majority by any standard.

Sarah Wootton, the chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said the result was an "outrage". She claims that MPs voted against the views of the majority of the public who supported the bill.

Did they - does the majority of the electorate want some terminaly ill people to be able to end their lives with medical supervision? If that's true, were MPs voting against their constituents' wishes, and if they did, does it matter - it was a free vote, after all.

  spuds 23:22 13 Sep 2015

"but on a free such as that described I think most MPs vote with their own feelings rather than as their constituents would wish."

"In a large number of constituencies a majority would be in favour of deporting illegals and overstayers, similarly, many would be in favour of capital punishment but very few MPs would vote in such a way."

If that is the case, and I have no doubt in believing it, then why are MP's called representatives of the people, and the same might apply to the local councillor.

  Dragon_Heart 01:02 14 Sep 2015

"suicide is looked on nowadays with less pain or concern. Or is it?" Suicide used to be a criminal offence but to commit that act one must have lost all hope of a pain free solution.

The mind set of a person contemplating suicide is far removed from that of a 'normal' healthy happy person.

I am not aware of my MP asking for her constituents views on the matter nor did I expect to as she would not have got a true 'picture' of the whole community's views on the matter.

In a 'free vote' it's only the individual view of the MP which way to vote, if at all.

My friend recently dies of brain cancer, despite a high dosage of drugs he was still in considerable pain but did not give up hope even at the end.

It's when you loose your inner strength that you wish for a quick end.

  Devil Fish 02:52 14 Sep 2015

i was never consulted by my local MP neither was any one i know so i can only conclude they voted with their own conscience or towed the party line. Had i have been asked i would have agreed with assisted death for the terminally ill with proper laws and guidelines in place to ensure it is not abused.

It's when you loose your inner strength that you wish for a quick end.

Really or maybe it is you don't want your family to see you suffering
Maybe its you don't want to be a burden on your family you don't want to drain resources that could help others that have a fighting chance
their are many reasons you may want to go early if you are terminally ill. so i find the last part of your post rather short sighted Dragon Heart

  BT 08:29 14 Sep 2015

...prescribed a lethal dose of drugs, which they had to be able to take themselves

I believe this even applies to the Swiss Clinic. They supply the drugs but you actually have to take it yourself unaided.

The irony in this is that if you are able to do it yourself its not illegal but any sort of assistance, even someone just getting the pills out of a drawer and putting them where you can get them yourself, is illegal.

  wee eddie 10:15 14 Sep 2015

Even in Soylent Green, you had to be able to walk to the "Centre"

  spuds 10:19 14 Sep 2015

"The mind set of a person contemplating suicide is far removed from that of a 'normal' healthy happy person."

The reason why I mentioned suicide earlier, was because this is an option everyone as, no matter what their occupation or status in life might be. I fully admit, that the people I have known who have committed suicide was perhaps not through ill health, but more to do with mind, and possibly a quick way of bringing an end to perhaps a long drawn out affair, that might cause further harm to others. I suppose you could say 'burden'to others.

Some of those people had held senior positions coveing a range of occupations, including the police force, people held in high esteem and even medical practitioner's.

One thing that will remain with me for the rest of my life, is one particular suicide I attending shortly after it had happened. This was the death of a young male in his early twenties, who had jumped off a multi-storey car park. He was homeless and had given up on trying to make a life for himself with very little help from those that should have been helping him. The memory that will remain with me, is when searching his pockets, all there was in one jacket pocket, was a very short rather scruffy apologetic piece of paper/letter asking for forgiveness, because he had lost all hope!.

Apologies for going off original topic, but many people seem to overlook these type of events and regard suicides are only for the loony, perhaps just seeking attention!. Like they say, you have to be in it, and see it, to realise just what human nature is all about.

  morddwyd 10:51 14 Sep 2015

As many of you know, and like some others on the forum, I cared for my wife for sixteen years. AS I got older, and her disability increased it became more difficult.

She was eventually taken into care, against our wishes but our GP said it was killing both of us, and we were threatened with care orders, both of us!

Towards the end she could not even operate the volume controls on a TV remote, but it still gave us pleasure when I could feed her lunch, and I could still show her pictures of our favourite primrose bank and bluebell wood, and building progress on the new M&S shop.

When she took, without my knowledge, the decision to refuse all food and drink, she still smiled when I came in the room, and at the end, when she didn’t open here eyes for three days smiled when she heard my voice, and we still took pleasure in each others company.

I could no more have shortened that three days than I could have stopped visiting her, nor, of course, could I have extended it.

It was her right, and her decision, and hers alone, and she eventually passed peacefully, and with dignity, holding my hand.

No-on should be denied that right.

  john bunyan 11:20 14 Sep 2015


One of the most moving posts I have seen on the forum, and thank you for sharing your sad, but very honest feelings.

Each case is different and if someone is in excruciating and constant, irreversible pain, one may have other views.

In Oct 2013 I was given a prognosis of 6 months due to the highest grade metastatic malignant melanoma. In fact I had few symptoms so never reached a desperate phase so did not consider such options. A good job since with very expensive immunotherapy and Gamma Knife treatment I am, at the moment, in total remission. (Thank you NHS). Had to hand in driving licence for 2 years post brain tumours Gamma Knife and hoping to get it back in December.

I do not, even now, know what I would do at an end point.

  john bunyan 11:28 14 Sep 2015

PS On the question, I have never been consulted by an MP on anything! In turn their names are selected by a relatively few members of the local party membership, so I do not even, in a constituency that is strong for one party, get a choice of candidate. MP's , on free votes, use their own judgement and seem not to consult widely on an issue.

  spuds 11:50 14 Sep 2015

"No-on should be denied that right."

Which I fully agree with, but on occasions, that right in whatever form can be denied, either by choice or error.

My late father was a very prominent business person in a tightly knit community, with many connections outside that community. Due to circumstances at the time, he was 'cared for' in one of those new and increasing and rather expensive establishment called a care home, far away from his roots. When he died, we the family,knew nothing about his death until a day later, when the care home decided to tell us. The call was more based on collection of the body and belongings, plus signing off of the final bill, than care or after thought.

I can say in shame, he died very alone with very little consideration. But hopefully, when we arranged his funeral, the rather large gathering made up for this. But by that time my late father knew nothing about this, but it will remain as a guilt for me forever.

Do I hold a grudge against the care home, its owners or myself, I really do not know, because I still have serious thoughts about that, and hope that others might not have the same fate, but I suppose that will always remain as wishfull thinking!.

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