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One hurdle at a time

The Assisted Dying Bill is still not without its opponents, but it now appears to be a case of when it will become law rather than if, suggest Joanna Newton and Patrick Wooddisse

2 March 2015

Modern medicine has triumphed over many previously incurable and chronic diseases, with an emphasis being placed on palliative medicines. It has given many a dignified death, free from any painful symptoms. Yet many other patients continue to suffer excruciating pain, both physical and emotional, and are unable to bring about their own death unaided.

As Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill (ADB) makes its way through the Lords (now at the committee stage), the question arises as to how our domestic law currently protects these individuals and what changes should be made.

The Assisted Dying Bill

The ADB would enable a terminally ill adult to request assistance to end their own life. In its present draft the Bill requires the adult to be of sound mind when first seeking assistance and, allowing for a statutory cooling off per...

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