Assisted Dying

Assisted Dying.

Under the present Law assisting someone to commit suicide is an offence that brings with it a jail term of up to 14 years, under this law anyone helping a terminally ill person to end their life early may face prosecution.

Over the years may people have used the services of Dignitas in Switzerland to end their life, but for just as long campaigners have pressed for a change in the law to make assisted dying legal in the UK.

Each time the Bill has been brought to parliament it has been turned down, but it’s never going to go away and the time has come, once again for a vote and it seems that the result will be closer than ever.

Under the new proposals an Adult with less than six months to live will be able to end their life earlier, the person must be capable of making a decision and able to administer the drugs themselves, which would exclude certain conditions, such as locked in syndrome.

The decision to allow early termination of death will be made by a High Court Judge following advice from two independent doctors.

Concerns have always been raised that this could put pressure on disabled elderly people to follow the process.

Whilst it will be the MPs that decide the bills fate, consideration will be given when making a decision of the views of the Medical profession, which is fairly divided on the subject, with a survey by the Royal College of Physicians saying it does not believe a change is necessary and the college of nurses being fairly neutral.

The church has taken a fairly firm stance that it is opposed to 'assisted dying', but both Desmond Tutu and the archbishop of Canterbury have both come out in favour of the bill.

The Bill will be debated in the House of Commons on Friday and there is a good chance that this time it will be passed, I am not in favour of excluding illnesses because the person cannot administer the drugs so would like to see an amendment to allow for this.

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Civil Liberties and Human Rights Solicitors

Assisted dying - Less suffering not more deaths.

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