The report makes a conservative estimate that 2% of people who die by suicide are terminally ill, which equates to 88 terminally ill people in England committing suicide in 2009; more than three times the number of Britons who were assisted to die at Dignitas in the same year. We have known for a long time that terminally ill people have been travelling abroad in order to take control over the time and manner of their own deaths, but until now we have only had anecdotal evidence of just how many people were attempting to control their deaths domestically.
In line with the findings more needs to be done to support those suffering from physical illnesses and terminal conditions. Dignity in Dying fully supports this, but also believes that terminally ill, mentally competent adults should have the legal right to request help to die if their suffering becomes unbearable. This would mean that dying adults would no longer have to attempt suicide behind closed doors, and there would also be a framework of strict legal safeguards in place to protect both those who do want help to die, and those who need more support in order to live with their condition.