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The Law

'If it ain't broken, don't fix it,' goes the well-known adage. Is our current law on assisted suicide working effectively? How well are assisted suicide and euthanasia laws working other countries? Are the safeguards enshrined in law, enough to protect the vulnerable?

Below are numerous reports examining in detail the data from at home and abroad concerning the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

 

13 May 2021

Truths and Half Truths about Assisted Dying

In a booklet published recently Living and Dying Well examines the statements made by the campaigning group Dignity in Dying…
27 April 2021

Assisted Dying and The Law

In our latest podcast Robert Preston unpacks how, and why, the current law on ‘assisted dying’ works.…
1 April 2021

Safeguards – What Safeguards?

In our second podcast Robert Preston examines the so-called safeguards of legalised assisted dying.…
25 June 2019

Parliament or the Courts?

Changing the law on assisted suicide is a matter for Parliament A few weeks ago former Justice of the Supreme…
21 June 2019

Lord Sumption on assisted suicide: What did he really say?

A critical analysis of claims that Lord Sumption implied that our law is ‘broken’. In the first of his Reith Lectures this…
28 February 2019

Worcestershire man with MND does not support a change in the law.

John King is ready to die and has opted to have his treatment withdrawn Ludlow and Tenbury Wells Advertiser has…
28 June 2018

A Welcome Judgment by the Court of Appeal.

The existing law achieves a fair balance between individual autonomy and protection of the community The Court of Appeal has…
16 February 2018

No decision about me without me.

If ‘assisted dying’ is a matter for society and not for the medical profession, it is society, through the courts,…
27 December 2017

True cost? or true facts?

Living and Dying Well responds to a recent document published by campaigners for physician-assisted suicide. In November 2017 the campaigning…
5 October 2017

High Court Judgment in the case of Mr Noel Conway.

English law on assisting suicide is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. On 5 October 2017 the High…
1 April 2017

Appeal Against Assisted Suicide Law Rejected

After Parliament’s rejection of legalisation, it would be ‘institutionally inappropriate’ for the courts to re-open the matter The decision of…
1 April 2017

Court rejects challenge to legal prohibition of assisted suicide.

The High Court has rejected an appeal for legalisation of assisted suicide The High Court has rejected an appeal against…
11 September 2015

No legal basis for normalising suicide.

Laws are more than just regulatory instruments: they send social messages In an article in The Daily Telegraph on the day Parliament…
6 September 2015

The Assisted Dying No. 2 Bill

It is neither right nor safe to change the law on assisting suicide Rob Marris’s Private Member’s Bill would license…
4 September 2015

Assisted Dying No.2 Bill.

Should Parliament License Assistance with Suicide? A supplementary report. In our last report, we examined proposals by Lord Falconer and…
23 July 2015

Parliament should not license assistance with suicide – it is neither necessary nor safe to do so.

Rob Marris MP’s Assisted Dying No. 2 Bill would license physician-assisted suicide in England and Wales. It fails to provide…
21 July 2015

Should Parliament license assistance with suicide?

An analysis of proposals currently before Parliament. There are currently two Private Member bills in Parliament seeking to legalise assisted…
21 July 2015

Rob Marris MP’s Assisted Dying No.2 Bill.

The House of Commons in now in recess until 7 September.  Just four days later Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying No.2…
6 June 2015

Scotland rejects assisted suicide for a second time.

MSPs reject Patrick Harvey’s Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill. On 27 May 2015 MSPs voted to reject Patrick Harvey’s Assisted Suicide…
6 June 2015

Scottish Parliament rejects assisted suicide bill.

MSPs reject Patrick Harvie’s Assisted Suicide Bill by 82 votes to 36 On 27 May 2015 The Scottish Parliament held…
30 April 2015

Scotland Assisted Suicide Bill contains significant flaws, says committee

Holyrood’s committee examining Patrick Harvie’s Assisted Suicide Bill is not persuaded by the case for a change in the law…
12 December 2014

Welsh Assembly rejects support for Lord Falconer’s Bill.

In a debate on 10 December the Assembly of Wales in Cardiff debated and rejected a Motion to support the…
27 November 2014

Royal College of Physicians reaffirms opposition to assisted suicide.

Following a consultation of its membership the RCP has reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide A survey of its Members by the…
17 November 2014

‘A Hidden Problem’: Research that raises more questions than it answers.

Deaths from physician-assisted suicide among terminally ill people in Oregon have been rising since the practice was legalised in 1997. …
14 November 2014

Assisted Dying Bill Committee Stage 7November 2014.

On 7 November the House of Lords began Committee Stage on Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill. In debate lasting from…
17 October 2014

The Crown Prosecution Service provides a clarification

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has published a clarification of one aspect of its Policy for Prosecutors governing cases of…
24 July 2014

Assisted Dying Bill ‘unsatisfactory’, says legal think-tank.

A thoughtful article by legal think-tank Halsbury’s Law Exchange analyses Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill and gives its verdict. This…
24 July 2014

An assisted dying law would change the moral landscape.

In a balanced and thoughtful editorial published on the eve of the Second Reading of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill…
5 March 2014

House of Lords debates assisted suicide guidelines.

The House of Lords discusses how cases of encouraging or assisting suicide are handled by the Crown Prosecution Service. On…
15 December 2013

An ‘Assisted Dying’ law would be no more than “a line in the sand”.

“Laws, like nation states, are more secure when their boundaries rest on natural frontiers”, writes Baroness Butler-Sloss. In an article…
5 November 2013

Right-to-die Bill a ‘blank cheque’ for assisted suicide, say senior judges.

Lord Falconer’s proposal would threaten public safety, Peers warn The Daily Telegraph reports today that “an attempt by Lord Falconer, the…
4 November 2013

Claims that the law is not fit for purpose do not stand up to serious scrutiny, say Peers.

Lord Falconer’s ‘assisted dying’ bill is “asking Parliament to sign a blank cheque” In a report published today by think-tank…
4 November 2013

‘Assisted Dying’ and the law.

An analysis of the Suicide Act 1961 and of how it works in practice. In a report published today, three…
13 August 2013

A Fine Line

There is a fine line between increasing certainty in the minds of potential law-breakers as to the consequences of their…
18 May 2013

Another ‘assisted dying’ bill: Careful analysis needed.

Lord Falconer has presented his long-heralded Private Member’s Bill to Parliament Lord Falconer’s long-heralded bill to legalise physician-assisted suicide for terminally…
15 May 2013

Assisted Dying Bill 2013-14.

Lord Falconer presents his Private Member’s Bill to Parliament. Lord Falconer has presented his promised ‘assisted dying’ bill to Parliament.…
12 May 2013

A licence for suicide by any other name.

Plans to present an ‘assisted dying’ bill to parliament raise some fundamental and troubling issues, says Lord Carlile of Berriew…
12 May 2013

Sound law-making requires clear language.

This is no matter of mere semantics. If Parliament is to be asked to legalise certain acts, it needs to…
30 April 2013

Suicide isn’t a criminal offence but that doesn’t mean it’s a ‘right’.

Marie Fleming has lost her appeal to the Supreme Court in Ireland against a ruling of the High Court in…
29 April 2013

Marie Fleming – The Supreme Court’s judgment.

The Supreme Court in the Republic of Ireland has delivered its judgment on the case of Marie Fleming. Marie Fleming…
9 April 2013

This is not what the debate is about.

Joan Bakewell is confusing end-of-life with ending-life decisions Every patient has the right to refuse medical treatment, even if the…
8 April 2013

Court of Appeal issues judgment on ‘right-to-die’ cases.

The Court of Appeal has unanimously dismissed appeals challenging the legal ban on voluntary euthanasia The Court of Appeal has…
13 March 2013

Paralysed man joins right-to-die battle.

A man almost entirely paralysed in a road accident 23 years ago has won a legal fight to join the…
1 February 2013

Peer makes new bid to change law on assisted dying.

“Terminally ill patients with less than a year to live would be able to seek the help of friends or…
10 January 2013

Woman with MS loses fight to legalise assisted suicide in Ireland.

Marie Fleming wanted Dublin’s High Court to overturn a ban on assisted suicide in order to allow her to die…
1 September 2010

‘Assisted Dying’: The law.

What is the law on ‘assisted dying’? And how has it evolved to its present position? In this paper barrister…
25 February 2010

A law with a stern face but an understanding heart.

A sensible policy to guide prosecutors considering cases of encouraging or assisting suicide has been published The public consultation had…
25 February 2010

DPP’s policy for prosecutors in respect of encourating or assisting suicide.

DPP Keir Starmer issues a prosecution policy relating to cases of encouraging or assisting suicide In July 2009 the House…

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