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UK should follow France’s lead and hold a Government enquiry into assisted dying

“While people are suffering needlessly and against their wishes at the end of life, this will not go away, in the UK or overseas”

A Government commissioned report into whether to legalise assisted dying in France was published today. The report recommended the introduction of an assisted dying Bill in the French Parliament, and President Fran├žois Hollande has committed to doing just that in June 2013. The French bill is likely to be put before Parliament at the same time as Lord Falconer introduces an assisted dying Bill into the House of Lords. Lord Falconer’s Bill will be based on the joint consultation by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life and Dignity, which concluded last month.

Assisted dying is currently lawful in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg, and in three U.S. States: Oregon, Washington and Montana.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:

“We are delighted for the people of France, and the organisation L’ADMD which has been campaigning so hard for change in favour of assisted dying for many years, that the French President has made such a positive move in favour of improving choice at the end of life.

“While people are suffering needlessly and against their wishes at the end of life, this will not go away, in the UK or overseas. People are taking matters into their own hand, often in desperate and dangerous ways, and I sincerely hope that our decision-makers will take a leaf out of President Hollande’s book and hold an enquiry on choice at the end of life, to address the issue head on, before more dying Britons and their loved ones are forced to suffer.”


Notes 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.

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