THE Archbishop of York has spoken in the House of Lords about his mother’s terminal illness, during a debate on plans to legalise assisted dying.

Dr John Sentamu said yesterday that when it was discovered that his mother, Ruth, had aggressive throat cancer, she was expected to live only a matter of weeks.

However, through the professional skill and care of a hospital and a hospice, she was able to live for 18 months.

“During this time our children, who had been born in England, were able to get to know and love their grandmother, and she was able to delight in them,” he said.

“This was a gift.”

The Archbishop claimed the Assisted Dying Bill could deprive some terminally ill individuals and their families of a very important time of ‘shared love and wonder’ and he urged fellow Lords to resist it.

“This is far too complex and sensitive an issue to be rushed through Parliament and decided on the basis of competing personal stories,” he said.

“I therefore suggest that a Royal Commission be set up to provide a way of exploring these complex issues in greater depth.”