Martin Green, a dementia expert for the Department of Health, said patients who were too frail to take their own lives were being denied “choice” and “autonomy” because the choice of assisted dying is not available to people in the UK.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he urged ministers to review the law and suggested that a referendum or a free vote in Parliament should be called to settle policy on the issue.
Jo Cartwright, Dignity in Dying said:
“The issue of assisted dying must be resolved. We are confident that if a referendum was called, the vast majority of the public would want to see a change in the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of an assisted death. At present people who want such choice are either forced to travel abroad for help to die, or as research out this week shows, attempt to end their lives at home behind closed doors. A change in the law to permit safeguarded assisted dying would better protect those people who want the choice of an assisted death and by ensuring that their decision is informed and freely made. Parliament must listen to the will of the public and the evidence and settle this issue so that people who are dying do not have to suffer against their wishes at the end-of-life.”