Humanists urge MPs to call for law reform on assisted dying

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has urged MPs to speak in favour of a reform to the law on assisted dying, when they debate the issue in the House of Commons later today.

Coming so soon after the publication of the new prosecution guidelines on assisted dying in the UK, as well as recent calls for an independent inquiry into the law in the House of Lords, it is particularly timely that elected representatives have a chance now to make the case for a reform in the law in the UK.

Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive, said, ‘The final prosecution guidelines have distinguished between where a person has compassionately assisted another to die, and where that was done with malicious intent. That is a clarification that was badly needed and is to be welcomed. However, the guidelines will always be retrospective, after an assisted death has taken place, and the law itself remains unchanged.’  

‘Legalising assisted dying is the only sure way to give terminally ill or incurably suffering people full autonomy and choice at end of life, and at the same time to ensure strict legal safeguards are in place to protect those that are vulnerable from coercion or other malice. This is a proposal that has overwhelming public support and its implementation would be a compassionate recognition of human autonomy and dignity’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson, 07534 248596, 020 7079 3583.

Read the BHA’s briefing for MPs.

Read more about the BHA’s work on reforming the law on assisted dying.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity representing and supporting the interests of ethically concerned, non-religious people in the UK.