Moment Sun columnist Deborah James slaps down ex judge who claims her life is 'less valuable' as she has stage 4 cancer

SUN columnist Deborah James today hit back at an ex judge who said her life is "less valuable" because she has stage 4 cancer.

Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption made his startling comment on BBC's The Big Questions while discussing the cost of the Covid lockdown. 

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He told Deborah, 39, her life was not worth as much as other Brits because of her condition.

Lord Sumption, who believes vulnerable people should isolate if they want to while the rest of the population live their normal lives, said: "All lives are not of equal value – the older you are, the less valuable yours is because there's less of it left."

However she fired back: "With all due respect I'm the person who you say their life is not valuable, I live with metastatic bowel cancer.

The Lord, who sat on the Supreme Court until 2018, then pointed out: "I didn't say your life was not valuable, I said it was less valuable."

Debora -known as Bowel Babe – quickly replied: "Who are you to put a value on life?

"In my view, and I think in many others, life is sacred and I don't think we should make those judgement calls."

Deborah, from London, has inspired countless patients by sharing her experiences in her column 'Things Cancer Made Me Say.'

She has had 17 tumours in her lifetime and had her latest cancer operation was just weeks ago. 

The show's host Nicky Campbell had asked about the cost of lockdown and asked whether it was "punishing too many for the greater good".

Lord Sumption said: "All lives are not of equal value – the older you are, the less valuable yours is because there's less of it left."

But his argument clearly did not go down well with Deborah.

"All life is worth saving regardless of what life it is people are living," she said.

"I'm fully aware and I've seen first hand and said goodbye to best friends in terms of collateral Covid is causing but at the same time I'm grateful to be somebody who is kept alive because of the NHS… 

"Only six weeks ago I was in intensive care for a cancer operation that has got me back up on my feet and without that I wouldn't be here.

"And we have to protect the NHS to allow the collateral to be as minimal on all health conditions as possible."

Deborah added she has seen "many friends" who she met through cancer die in the four years since her diagnosis.

One was a fellow host of her podcast, Rachael Bland, who died of breast cancer in 2018, aged 40.

Lord Sumption went on to claim there was no real evidence to suggest lockdowns are an effective method for reducing fatalities from coronavirus.

In November, Deborah spoke  of her heartbreak after discovering her cancer has returned.

The mum-of-two, who also hosts the BBC's You, Me And The Big C podcast,  was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2016.

She has bravely shared her journey with Sun readers throughout and has twice been told that she is cancer 'free'.


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