In a letter to Care Not Killing (CNK), which opposes an assisted dying law, the Lord Chancellor insisted the Government has “no plans” to hold a review on the law.
The letter contradicted an interview with the Sunday Express in which Mr Buckland said he was “actively considering” a call for evidence on the issue.
He told this newspaper: “My own view is I wouldn’t support it but that’s my view as an individual but as Lord Chancellor I have to think about the merits of having a call for evidence which I will actively consider in the next few months.” But opponents in Parliament who fear a new law for assisted dying would be abused have lobbied the Ministry of Justice to protest against the review.
Following representations from MPs, Mr Buckland received a letter from the CNK, which promotes paliative care instead of assisted suicide, asking for a meeting.
CNK had been snubbed by Mr Buckland’s predecessor David Gauke, who had wanted to push for a call for evidence.
In his reply to CNK chief executive Dr Gordon Macdonald, Mr Buckland suggested he was no longer considering a review.
He stated: “My predecessor was… supportive of a call for evidence but no call was initiated before he left office, nor… does the Government currently have any plans to initiate a call for evidence. This remains my position.” The Lord Chancellor also confirmed he will meet opponents to assisted dying.
The suggestion he was preparing to have a call for evidence had been welcomed by many campaigners.
Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying said: “Under the current law, dying people are forced to resort to drastic actions, leading to premature deaths which take place behind closed doors.”