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Independent report by palliative care experts discredits claims that assisted dying has a negative impact on palliative care

released today by the European Association of Palliative Care (EPAC) has
concluded that the provision of palliative care is well developed in those
countries that have legalised and regulated some form of medical assistance to
die, and accusations that providing such choice undermines palliative care are
unfounded. The report was commissioned by the think tank Demos, and will be
submitted to the Commission on Assisted Dying, which is due to publish its
conclusions by the end of the year.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:

report shows that providing greater choice at the end of life is not only
possible, but in our view preferable, by concluding that increasing choice does
not hinder the development of palliative care.

dying adults with the choice of an assisted death within upfront safeguards
should not and does not negate the need to provide good quality end of life
care. They are not either/or options, but rather regulated assisted dying
should serve as an additional compassionate choice for those suffering
unbearably in the last days or weeks of life.

assisted dying is an emotive issue. But, we must find a way forward as the
current situation that effectively forgives compassionate amateur assistance to
die, but not professional assistance, is untenable. In doing so, we should in
part look to the evidence from those countries which have already legalised and
regulated some form of medical help to die. Contrary to the assertion of a
vocal minority who oppose change, the evidence yet again shows that their fears
are unfounded.?


to editor:

Dignity in Dying:

· Dignity
in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access
to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults
with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for
universal access to high quality
end-of-life care.

· Dignity
in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from
donations from the public.

· The
British Social Attitudes Survey 2010 found that 92% of non-religious and 71% of
religious people support assisted dying.
This relates to overall support of 82%.

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