SDLP Communities Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has welcomed the final stage of a bill to support the terminally ill.
The Social Security (Terminal Illness) Bill passed its final stage in the Assembly on Monday.
Mr Durkan said his thoughts were with the families of those who had died while campaigning for this legislation.
Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:
“While it’s welcome that terminally ill people in the North will now get the support they’re entitled too without being forced to go through a humiliating and degrading process of having to prove how ill they are, this bill is long overdue and should have been delivered years ago.
“The terminally ill suffered further as a result of the dysfunction that saw our Assembly collapsed by Sinn Féin and prevented from returning for three years by them and the DUP. During this period many people were denied the support they needed in the last months of their lives. I can only imagine how difficult it was for them and their families to go through this period without adequate support.
“The fact is that people died while waiting for this legislation and my thoughts are with their family and friends today. It’s terrible that we ever got to the point where the terminally ill had to spend the precious time they had left fighting for support while also fighting for their lives. I know this legislation will make a huge difference to people and it’s to the credit of those that campaigned so tirelessly for it over the past few years that it has finally been introduced, sadly many of them are no longer here to see its passage and benefit from it.''