Former Wales First Minister calls for UK-wide assisted dying law

Mark Drakeford talking at the Humanists UK Convention in Cardiff

Mark Drakeford, former first minister of Wales, has spoken in favour of a full UK-wide assisted dying law. Speaking at the Humanists UK convention in Cardiff, Drakeford said assisted dying should be a right across the UK. My Death, My Decision hopes that all political leaders take note and welcome the huge political momentum in support of assisted dying.

In the Q&A, Drakeford was asked if he thought assisted dying should be a devolved matter. 

Mark Drakeford, former first minister of Wales, said:

“I think assisted dying would pass through the Senedd and I would certainly be a supporter of it myself. But I would much rather that it was one of those things that we did on a UK-wide basis. 

You know, I am a fierce believer in devolution, that in Wales, we should take control of our own domestic agenda as much as possible. But I’m also a believer in the United Kingdom, and I believe that something – some rights – in the way that I was describing earlier, should belong to you as a result of your citizenship of the United Kingdom. And you can imagine all the unintended consequences there would be if assisted dying was available in Wrexham but not available in Chester. 

I believe it is one of the things that I would see as a right. I believe you have a right to take control of the way in which you leave this world.”

Trevor Moore, Chair of My Death, My Decision, said:

“It was heartening to hear this support for the right to a dignified, compassionate assisted death from Mark Drakeford. We hope that current political leaders take note of this thoughtful response from the former first minister of Wales.

People who are suffering deserve choice, dignity and compassion. We should not stand in the way of an adult of sound mind who is suffering unbearably from an incurable condition and has come to a settled wish to die. We urge the next Westminster parliament to vote for change.”

When asked last week by Julie Morgan MS “What steps is the Welsh Government taking towards the devolution of powers regarding assisted dying to Wales?”, the Welsh Government replied:

“Welsh Government does not have plans to seek devolution of powers for assisted dying. This is a complex issue with moral and legal considerations, and we have agreed with the UK Government on a neutral position. We continue working with the NHS in Wales to provide high-quality end-of-life care and support to people.”


Members of the MDMD team, as well as individuals affected by the current law on assisted dying, are available for interview upon request

For further comment or information, media should contact Nathan Stilwell at or phone 07456200033.

Media can use the following press images and videos, as long as they are attributed to “My Death, My Decision”.

My Death, My Decision is a grassroots campaign group that wants the law in England and Wales to allow mentally competent adults who are terminally ill or intolerably suffering from an incurable condition the option of a legal, safe, and compassionate assisted death. With the support of over 3,000 members and supporters, we advocate for an evidence-based law that would balance individual choice alongside robust safeguards and finally give the people of England and Wales choice at the end of their lives.