Assisted dying is devolved to every Government across the United Kingdom and Crown dependencies – except in Wales. As a nation with its own Parliament, culture, and history, we don’t see any reason why Wales should be less able to determine its law on assisted dying than Scotland or Northern Ireland. That’s why we’re campaigning for assisted dying to be devolved in Wales.
The fact Wales already has the authority to determine its own law on palliative care is a particularly compelling reason to devolve assisted dying because effective end-of-life care should recognise a spectrum of choices, and international evidence shows that palliative care and assisted dying work best when in tandem.
Under Wales’ reserved powers model, the Welsh Government and Senedd can pass legislation which covers any topic Westminster has not reserved for itself. One such issue where power is reserved is the legality of assisted dying. In 2014, the Senedd voted against proposals to support the principles of a Bill which would have allowed those who are terminally ill, but not those who are intolerably suffering, the option of an assisted death.
We think assisted dying should be seen as a fundamental healthcare right. Therefore, just as Welsh lawmakers already have the authority to determine the law on palliative care and organ donation, so too should they be able to decide the law on assisted dying. To achieve this we have:
- Commissioned independent research to show that there are significantly higher levels of support for legal assisted dying in Wales than elsewhere in the UK. Our research shows that whilst nearly 90% of people in England favoured changing the law to permit assisted dying for those who are incurably suffering, 93% of people in Wales support assisted dying reform
- Published research indicating that the current ban on assisted dying may disproportionately impact upon the choice of those living in Wales. In particular, our investigation found that the proportion of people who travel from Wales to Switzerland for an assisted death is one of the fastest growing in the UK and has more than doubled since 2014
- Submitted evidence to the Senedd highlighting our concerns and calling for assisted dying powers as part of Wales’ ‘Making Justice Work’ resolution.
BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP
We are currently in the process of building support within the Senedd for our campaign. You can support our movement by writing to your MP or MS and explaining why you support the legalisation of assisted dying, and think assisted dying should be devolved in Wales. Our take action toolkit has advice on how to go about this.
You can also support our campaign by becoming a member or by making a donation. As an entirely volunteer-led organisation we need financial support to keep our campaigns going. If you have a story to tell, or would like to support our campaign please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org