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UK Law change on assisted suicide ?

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  • UK Law change on assisted suicide ?

    Senior members of the House of Lords are to attempt to lift the threat of prosecution hanging over those helping the terminally ill travel outside the UK for assisted suicide.
    More Britons are choosing to travel abroad to end their lives at clinics such as Dignitas in Switzerland.

    Peers led by former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer and Baroness Jay, former leader of the House of Lords, are to table an amendment this week to the Coroners and Justice Bill to try and lift the threat of prosecution currently faced by those helping somebody commit assisted suicide overseas.

    An estimated 800 Britons are now members of the Dignitas clinic, support group Dignity in Dying said.

    And 34 people have been given the "green light" by the clinic allowing them to proceed with their assisted suicides.

    Sarah Wootton chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said the current laws governing assisted suicide were "out of step" with public feeling.

    She said: "Parliament urgently needs to acknowledge the fact that people are travelling overseas to die and this trend shows no sign of stopping.

    "People are losing faith in Parliament and its ability to reflect the will of the electorate.

    "Given that poll after poll has shown that 80% of the public support a change in the law, it's time that the 1961 Suicide Act was brought into line with current public opinion and current prosecuting policy."

    Is this a good or bad thing , imo its a good thing as long as all efforts are made to oversee the op by doctorS and maybe a police rep ? thoughts boys n girls

  • #2
    The tide of opinion is turning methinks

    Nurses have dropped their opposition to assisted suicide, as a new poll suggested strong public support for allowing doctors to help terminally ill people to die.

    During a consultation, almost half (49%) of Royal College of Nursing members who responded said they supported assisted suicide, while 40% said they were against it.

    The results prompted the nursing body to change its formal position from one of opposition, a view it has held since 2004, to a neutral stance.

    Chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: "Assisted suicide is a complicated issue and this was reflected in the range and variety of responses that we received to our consultation.

    "The split in responses shows that there is no overwhelming support among nurses for either opposing or supporting a change in the law on assisted suicide.

    "We fully support the common themes that came through the consultation, namely maintaining the nurse-patient relationship, protecting vulnerable patients and making sure there is adequate investment in end-of-life care."

    Meanwhile, a poll for The Times found almost three-quarters (74%) of people want doctors to be allowed to help terminally ill people to end their lives.

    Six out of 10 people said they wanted friends and relatives to be able to help their dying loved ones to commit suicide, without fear of prosecution.

    The Times poll found only 13% of people supported a blanket right to assisted suicide regardless of the individual's health and 85% said it should be legal only "in specific circumstances".

    The RCN's decision comes weeks after the deaths of renowned conductor Sir Edward Downes and his wife, who travelled to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to die together on July 10.

    Police said inquiries into the deaths of the couple, who had been battling serious health problems, are still continuing.

    Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis, is waiting for a decision from the Law Lords on her bid to clarify the law on assisted suicide.

    She is thinking about ending her life at a clinic abroad, but fears her husband may be charged on his return to the UK.