Assisted Dying

 

We campaign for a change in the law on assisted dying. Assisted dying is when a terminally ill mentally competent adult, after meeting strict legal safeguards, takes prescribed medication that will end their life. Assisted dying is currently illegal in the UK.

Assisted dying is not the same as assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia or euthanasia, you can read about the differences here.

 

“The 2007 BSA survey found that the majority of disabled people are supportive of assisted dying: 75% of people with a disability believed that a person with a terminal and painful illness from which they will die should be allowed an assisted death.”[1]

 

Specifically we aim to:

 

Increase awareness

 

We appreciate the legal and medical definitions can be confusing. We want to engage with other disabled people and supporters to explain that there is a clear difference between assisted suicide and assisted dying. This campaign for assisted dying in the UK only seeks to achieve choice for terminally ill adults. Disabled people have nothing to fear from the legalisation of assisted dying and we want to tell them why.

 

Change the law

 

The current law puts dying people in a position of having little to no choice or control over how or when their death will happen. Some dying people are compelled to find their freedom to choose abroad or take sometimes lonely and dangerous actions to end their lives at home. We want to see an end to this suffering and put in place a law that provides upfront safeguards for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to make their own choice in this country.

 

Promote independent lives

 

Disabled people are in a unique position – we have had to fight for our personal independence and access to equal opportunities. The push for equal rights has been decades long and is not over yet; we understand more than most, that feeling of not having control of our own lives. These experiences are reason enough for us to campaign for those who are dying, to have the right to choose about their deaths just as we continuing pushing to have equal rights to choose about our own lives.

 

[1] Clery E, McLean S, Phillips M (2007) Quickening death: the euthanasia debate, in Parks A, Curtice J, Thomson K, Phillips M and Johnson M (eds.) British Social Attitudes: the 23rd report – perspectives on a changing society London, Sage: 35-54 (with additional data from the authors)