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In January of this year the Commission on Assisted Dying found that “the current legal status of assisted dying is inadequate and incoherent” and that there is “a strong case for providing the choice of assisted dying for terminally ill people”. In its report, the Commission set out proposals for a legal framework within which assisted dying could be practised safely.
The draft Bill that is the focus of this consultation builds on the recommendations of the Commission on Assisted Dying to propose a safeguarded assisted dying law.
The proposed Bill presents an assisted dying model which would allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults in England and Wales the choice of controlling the manner and timing of their death. Patients who request assisted dying would be assessed by two doctors to ensure that they satisfied pre-defined eligibility criteria. The details of the assessments, and other features of the proposed process, are set out in the consultation document alongside the draft Bill itself.
‘The purpose of this consultation is to assess the robustness of the safeguards.’
The purpose of this consultation is to assess the robustness of the safeguards that make up the assisted dying procedure in the draft Bill. This will be done by asking the views of the public, health and social care professionals, patient representative organisations and legal experts. The APPG on Choice at the End of Life and Dignity in Dying want to work with others to ensure not only that patients at the end of life have choice and control, but also, crucially, to ensure that the safeguards work well in practice.
You can download the consultation document, including the draft Bill here. If you wish to, you can answer the consultation questions using this website here.