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Petition: Hold a public inquiry into assisted dying so the voices of the incurably suffering can be heard

For too long, the public debate on assisted dying has ignored the suffering of individuals with terminal and incurable illnesses. Religious lobbyists and individual MPs have been able to put their stories out of mind and treat those calling for an urgent change in the law as mere statistics. We have all seen cases of MPs and Lords who previously dismissed campaigns for right to die only to change their minds only once affected by terminal illnesses personally – acknowledging too late the humanity of those calling for a change in the law.

Eight years on from the death of campaigner Tony Nicklinson, past right-to-die legal claimants and their families have written to the Secretary of State for Justice to ask for a public inquiry.

Will you add your name to their call for justice by signing and sharing our petition today?

To the Secretary of State for Justice,

It has now been half a decade since Parliament last examined legislation to legalise assisted dying, and fifteen years since it formally scrutinised the evidence. In that time, the number of Britons travelling to Switzerland had rocketed sixfold; successive countries, including Canada, Germany, Italy, and parts of the United States and Australia have legalised assisted dying, demonstrating that such changes can be achieved in a safe and compassionate way; public opinion has dramatically risen to nearly 90% supporting a change in the law for the terminally ill and incurably suffering; and there has been a significant shift in medical opinion and from within the disability community.

The evidence on assisted dying has simply changed, and Parliament cannot afford to turn a blind eye any longer. Please, call a public inquiry so the voices of the terminally and incurably ill can at last be heard on this issue in Parliament.

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Read the claimants’ letter to the Secretary of State for Justice

This is the letter sent by the claimants to the Secretary of State for Justice, which also appeared in the Guardian.

We represent the families and living claimants of most of the previous assisted dying legal cases. We have come together, for the first time, because we now believe there is an overwhelming case to set up an inquiry into the law.

It has now been half a decade since Parliament last examined legislation to legalise assisted dying, and fifteen years since it formally scrutinised the evidence. In that time, the number of Britons travelling to Switzerland had rocketed sixfold; successive countries, including Canada, Germany, Italy, and parts of the United States and Australia have legalised assisted dying, demonstrating that such changes can be achieved in a safe and compassionate way; public opinion has dramatically risen to nearly 90% supporting a change in the law for the terminally ill and incurably suffering; and there has been a significant shift in medical opinion and from within the disability community.

Following our unsuccessful legal cases, it is now obvious that parliamentarians alone have a responsibility to look at this matter again. They must not allow our cases to become the final word on the matter, or else countless others will experience the indignity, suffering, and agony that we can attest that this law creates.

The evidence on assisted dying has simply changed, and Parliament cannot afford to turn a blind eye any longer.

Tell the Secretary of State for Justice that you wish to see a public inquiry into assisted dying, to make the voices of sufferers heard.

CommDev: Assisted Dying Inquiry

 
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