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Assisted Suicide

Minister stopped from assisted suicide law review

22 July 2019

David Gauke, the Justice Minister has been prevented from launching a review into the current law on assisted suicide.

Under the current law, assisted suicide is illegal and carries a maximum penatly of 14 years in prison. But there is growing pressure on MPs to legalise a dangerous change in the law which will put intense pressure on vulnerable people.

Mr Gauke, who recently said he was in favour of the law being changed to allow assisted suicide, wanted to issue a call for evidence as one of his last acts before stepping down on Wednesday, as a new PM is appointed.

But according to a story in the Sunday Express, the idea of the review faced strong opposition from other parts of Government.

Mr Gauke had said the review was merely about trying to help MPs to think about whether there was new evidence that should be considered. He also promised to meet with campaign groups opposed to assisted suicide.

But according to Care Not Killing CEO, Gordon Macdonald, “these meetings have not yet happened and that confirms that this review is being driven by ideology and not by evidence.

“An open and fair review will find that changing the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia will put pressure on the terminally ill, disabled people and the vulnerable to end their lives.”

MPs debate assisted suicide earlier this month

Earlier this month, MPs debated assisted suicide for the first time in four years, since the Assisted Dying Bill was overwhelmingly defeated.

Several MPs spoke out against a change in current legislation, including Liz McInnes MP, who made a powerful case for greater investment in palliative care, rather than assisted suicide.

CARE CEO on BBC Today show on assisted suicide

Our chief executive Nola Leach lost her husband a few years ago after a long illness. Recently, she went on the Today show and told presenter John Humphrys why she’s so glad assisted suicide is not an option.

Find out more

One of the most persuasive reasons for not introducing assisted suicide is the evidence from countries where assisted suicide or euthanasia is all ready legal.

In this piece, CARE consultant Nigel Cameron looks at what has happened in the Netherlands, which he describes as the ‘world’s first euthanasia lab’.

Following the debate by MPs, CARE’s James Mildred wrote this piece about why legalising assisted suicide is just too great a risk.


Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

Find out more about the cause

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