A former Supreme Court justice has been criticised after telling a woman with stage 4 cancer that her life was "less valuable" than others during a televised debate on coronavirus lockdowns. Lord Sumption made his comments while appearing as a guest on The Big Questions, which was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday morning. The programme, hosted by Nicky Campbell, aimed to debate the question: "Is lockdown punishing too many for the greater good?" During the show, Lord Sumption, who sat on the Supreme Court from 2012 to 2018, argued against lockdown measures for everyone, saying older and vulnerable people could isolate themselves "if they want to". He said he did not accept that "all lives are of equal value", adding: "My children's and my grandchildren's life is worth much more than mine because they've got a lot more of it ahead." Deborah James, another guest on the programme, who has stage 4 bowel cancer, said: "With all due respect, Lord Sumption, I'm the person who you say their life is not valuable. I live with metastatic bowel cancer." Lord Sumption then interrupted her to say: "I didn't say it wasn't valuable, I said it was less valuable." Ms James continued: "My response to that would be, who are you to question and 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 judgment calls. I feel very, very strongly about that." She added: "All life is worth saving regardless of what life it is that people are living." Prof Calum Semple, another guest, said he "strongly" disagreed with Lord Sumption's comments. The University of Liverpool academic said: "The value of life doesn't change at the age of 70."