NEWPORT West MP Paul Flynn backed a proposal to legalise assisted suicide for those with a terminal illness – but other Gwent MPs opposed the suggestion, which was eventually rejected.

MPs debated a bill on the right to die in the House of Commons yesterday, the first vote on the issue in almost two decades.

A total of 330 MPs voted against the proposal to allow terminally ill adults with fewer than six months to live to take a lethal dose of drugs, supervised by doctors. 118 MPs supported the bill.

Patients wanting to end their lives would have to be able to take the drugs themselves, and each case would need to be approved by two doctors and a High Court judge.

Monmouth MP David Davies, Islwyn MP Chris Evans and Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds voted against the bill.

Newport West MP Paul Flynn and Caerphilly MP Wayne David voted in favour while Newport East MP Jessica Morden and Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith did not vote.

In a blog post prior to the debate, Labour MP Paul Flynn said: “Now we have a more complex science where we can both safeguard the sanctity of life and allow wider compassion.

"The reforms in the bill will be beneficial and relieve suffering on the pattern of similar laws in the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States.

“I have long supported a change in the law to legalise assisted dying and am a sponsor to Rob Marris' bill. I believe in would be an act of compassion.”

Speaking in the debate, Mr Flynn said people were already “being killed without their permission and without rules or regulation” when doctors administered large doses of morphine as they neared death, under the guise of pain relief.

However, those opposed to the bill said it could lead to people feeling they should choose to die rather than be a “burden” on their carers.

London and Westminster MP Mark Field said: “Fundamentally, I believe that the way in which any society looks after its most disabled, most vulnerable and the elderly says something about it. I worry that we are starting down a path of saying, in essence, that the lives of those who are profoundly disabled and who are getting old and are a burden are worth less than those of others. That is an incredibly dangerous path to go down.”