The Commission on Assisted Dying (Demos / BBC News)

Summary

The Commission on Assisted Dying was set up in September 2010. This report says the legal status of assisted suicide is inadequate and incoherent currently in England and Wales. It asserts that the legal regime – as it stands – can be distressing for the people (and their families) concerned, is unclear for health and social care staff, and places the burden of proof on police and prosecutors. A new alternative statutory framework for assisted dying is proposed, with strict criteria about who might be eligible to receive assistance balanced by robust safeguards to prevent abuse.

Full Text Link

Reference

Demos (2012). The Commission on Assisted Dying. London: Demos, 2012. ISBN 978-1-906693-92-3. (First published in 2011).

Updates: July 2014

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury now backs proposals to allow terminally ill people obtain help to end their lives:

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Reference

Assisted dying: Church of England seeks inquiry. London: BBC Health News, July 12th 2014.

Also:

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Reference

Walsh, F. (2014). Stephen Hawking: Why I support Assisted Dying. London: BBC Health News, July 16th 2014.

Further, Care Minister Norman Lamb (speaking in a personal capacity) is now in favour of assisted dying in certain circumstances:

Full Text Link

Reference

Care minister Norman Lamb backs assisted dying bill. London: BBC Health News, July 17th 2014.

The contrary position:

Full Text Link

Reference

Walsh, F. (2014). Tanni Grey-Thompson: Assisted dying ‘a dangerous path’. London: BBC Health News, July 17th 2014.

The House of Lords debates former Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill:

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Reference

House of Lords to debate assisted dying bill. London: BBC Health News, July 18th 2014.

The bill passed its second reading in the House of Lords:

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Reference

Assisted dying law would lessen suffering says Falconer. London: BBC Health / Politics News, July 18th 2014.

May 2015 Update

Full Text Link

Reference

Walsh, F. (2015). The assisted dying debate. London: BBC Health News, May 27th 2015.

September 2015 Update

Under the bill brought before the Commons by Labour MP Rob Marris (MP for Wolverhampton South West) two doctors and a High Court judge would be required to agree to assisted dying for each patient. They would need to be satisfied that the patient is mentally competent, has less than six months to live and has been informed of alternative palliative care options. The patient would have to administer the medication to end his / her own life, not a healthcare worker, to avoid risks of euthanasia.

Full Text Link

Reference

Assisted Dying Bill: Fresh debate on ‘right to die’. London: BBC Health News, September 11th 2015.

This relates to:

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Reference

Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill 2015-16. London: House of Commons, September 4th 2015. HC Bill 7 2015-16.

Further BBC News coverage:

Full Text Link

Reference

Walsh, F. (2015). ‘I don’t fear death’. London: BBC Health News, September 10th 2015.

The bill was defeated; 118 MPs were in favour, but 330 were against, allowing some terminally ill adults the right to die with medical supervision. It is unlikely politicians will debate this issue again in the near future, despite public opinion.

Full Text Link

Reference

Gallagher, J. [and] Roxby, P. (2015). Assisted Dying Bill: MPs reject ‘right to die’ law. London: BBC Health News, September 11th 2015.

Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh Debate

The parallel debate in the JRCPE:

Full Text Link

Reference

Catto, G. [and] Finlay, IG.  (2014). Assisted death: a basic right or a threat to the principal purpose of medicine? The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (JRCPE). 2014. Vol. 44(2), pp.134-136.

Note: The JRCPE links above also cater for the following:

Reference

Finlay, IG.  (2014). Assisted dying laws do not take into account the reality of clinical practice and patients’ lives. The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (JRCPE). 2014. Vol. 44(2), pp.137-138.

Possibly of interest:

Full Text Link

Reference

Gill Pharaoh’s decision to attend suicide clinic defended. London: BBC Health News, August 3rd 2015.

July 2017 Update

The High Court is examining the legal challenge from a terminally ill UK man with MND, Noel Conway, who wants the right to die.

Full Text Link

Reference

Walsh, F. (2017). Terminally ill man Noel Conway in right-to-die fight. London: BBC Health News, July 17th 2017.

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About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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