THE Commission on Assisted Dying has today published a report outlining the measures that would need to be put in place for a safe assisted dying law to operate in England and Wales.
A panel of experts – including Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt – has held extensive public evidence hearings, consultations, conducted international research visits, and commissioned expert briefing papers during the past 12 months to establish the effects changes in the current law would have on people.
The commission found that the choice of assisted dying could safely be offered to people who are over 18, suffering from a terminal illness at the end of their life and likely to die within 12 months, provided that they satisfy the eligibility criteria.
But they must be able to ask their doctor for a prescription and take the medication themselves.
People who might not have the mental capacity to make such a choice, who might be clinically depressed or experiencing pressure from friends or relatives, would be protected by a set of safeguards.
Ms Mordaunt said: ‘What I’m going to be looking to do is get a debate in the House of Commons about the issue.
‘I’m not looking to change the law, I know it is a very contentious subject, but these are important issues that need to be looked at in more detail.
‘We have got 400 people every year committing suicide because of a terminal illness.
‘I have had a number of people coming to me devastated because their relatives have ended their own lives and we need to do something about it.’