Government answers to questions about the contradictions in policies of the devolved Parliaments and Westminster about children and the ability of grandparents to support their grandchildren because of number restrictions; and a reply about the relationship between euthanasia and suicide rates in the Netherlands.

Sep 28, 2020 | Uncategorized

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL8105):

Question By Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the reasons why (1) the Scottish Government, and (2) the Welsh Government, have excluded children under the age of twelve from the rules which prevent groups of more than six gathering socially during the COVID-19 test; and what plans they have, if any, to exclude such children in England from those rules for (1) family visits,and (2) support from grandparents. (HL8105)

Tabled on: 15 September 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

Health is a devolved matter and each administration has the discretion and flexibility to find the right balance between managing risks and relaxing measures.

The Government is keeping its social distancing measures under continual review. The Government will only make changes when we are confident, we can do so safely. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care keeps the restrictions and requirements under constant consideration, to ensure the measures continue to be both proportionate and necessary

The new limit from 14 September does not prevent anyone from seeing their grandparents, but those who live in larger households will need to think carefully about how to organise their social interactions to remain within the law. We know this is difficult, but we know people will understand the need to take those steps which are necessary to keep their loved ones safe. These rules have been simplified and strengthened so they are easier to understand, and so the police can identify and disperse illegal gatherings. We are also acting now to get the virus under control and, if we achieve that, we may be able to make changes and potentially lift the restrictions.

Date and time of answer: 28 Sep 2020 at 15:10.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL8106):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scientific advice was used to inform the rules which prevent groups of more than six people gathering socially; and what if anything that advice said about the risk of grandparents meeting with families consisting of six people or more. (HL8106)

Tabled on: 15 September 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

As the Prime Minister set out, if we are to beat the virus then everyone, at all times, needs to limit social contact as much as possible. We are seeing daily case numbers rise rapidly and across the country, which is why the Government, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser jointly agreed the changes we announced.

The rules have been simplified and strengthened so they are easier to understand, and so the police can identify and disperse illegal gatherings. We are also acting now to get the virus under control and, if we achieve that, we may be able to make changes and potentially lift the restrictions.

The new limit from 14 September does not prevent anyone from seeing their grandparents, but those who live in larger households will need to think carefully about how to organise their social interactions to remain within the law. We know this is difficult, but we know people will understand the need to take those steps which are necessary to keep their loved ones safe.

Date and time of answer: 28 Sep 2020 at 14:50.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL8106):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scientific advice was used to inform the rules which prevent groups of more than six people gathering socially; and what if anything that advice said about the risk of grandparents meeting with families consisting of six people or more. (HL8106)

Tabled on: 15 September 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

As the Prime Minister set out, if we are to beat the virus then everyone, at all times, needs to limit social contact as much as possible. We are seeing daily case numbers rise rapidly and across the country, which is why the Government, the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser jointly agreed the changes we announced.

The rules have been simplified and strengthened so they are easier to understand, and so the police can identify and disperse illegal gatherings. We are also acting now to get the virus under control and, if we achieve that, we may be able to make changes and potentially lift the restrictions.

The new limit from 14 September does not prevent anyone from seeing their grandparents, but those who live in larger households will need to think carefully about how to organise their social interactions to remain within the law. We know this is difficult, but we know people will understand the need to take those steps which are necessary to keep their loved ones safe.

Date and time of answer: 28 Sep 2020 at 14:50.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL8007):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the study Does Euthanasia Have a Dampening Effect on Suicide Rates? Recent Experiences from the Netherlands, published in the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health on 28 December 2017, (2) the study How does legalization of physician-assisted suicide affect rates of suicide?, published in the Southern Medical Journal in October 2015, and (3) the relationship between the legalisation of assisted suicide and the rate of suicide in the general population; and what plans they have to reflect the outcome of any such assessments in the suicide prevention strategy for England. (HL8007)

Tabled on: 10 September 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Government has made no formal assessment of these studies and the Department has not made an assessment of the relationship between the legalisation of assisted suicide and the rate of suicide in the general population.

Date and time of answer: 28 Sep 2020 at 15:10.

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