The Health and Social Care Committee has launched an inquiry into assisted dying in England and Wales. My Death, My Decision has strongly welcomed the news and hopes to work constructively with the Committee.
My Death, My Decision is campaigning for an assisted dying law that will allow adults of sound mind who are either incurably, intolerably suffering, or terminally ill, the right to have an assisted death. We hope the inquiry will examine jurisdictions like Spain, Austria and Canada that have laws that are not restricted to only people who are terminally ill.
Assisted dying has not been properly examined by parliament since the House of Lords’ committees in 2004. In the 18 years since Parliament last investigated the matter, public and professional opinion have changed considerably. A poll by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) found that around 90 per cent of the British public favours a change in the current law. The British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), opposed a change in the law during the 2004 parliamentary inquiry but both have since re-evaluated their stance and changed their position to neutrality – as has The Royal College of Physicians.
In the last two decades global opinion has shifted in favour of the option of assisted death. In 2004, only 38 million people around the world lived in jurisdictions where assisted dying was legal, whereas currently it has increased ninefold to more than 360 million people worldwide.
My Death, My Decision Chair Trevor Moore said:
‘I am so glad that parliament is at last examining assisted dying – something for which we have been campaigning for years. We know that many of the people we support, people who are incurably suffering and people who have witnessed a loved-one’s painful death, will welcome this news. We look forward to working with the committee and I hope they look at all the international evidence that shows that safe, compassionate assisted dying laws are possible.
‘Parliament will be following in the footsteps of Jersey, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland and now France in finally tackling this issue. People who are incurably suffering deserve the right and freedom to make decisions about the end of their lives.’
For further comment or information, media should contact Nathan Stilwell at nathan.stilwell@mydeath-
My Death, My Decision is a grassroots non-profit organisation that campaigns for a balanced and compassionate approach to assisted dying in England and Wales. As a growing movement, we are at the forefront of social change: nearly 90% of the public now favours a change in the law to allow adults of sound mind, who are either terminally ill or facing incurable suffering, the option of a peaceful, painless, and dignified death.