Insights from the UK and beyond
The right to assist suicide
Former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt is calling for a change in the law, to allow people to take terminally ill patients abroad for assisted suicide without fear of prosecution.
The law may say it is illegal but in practice, those who do assist suicide abroad are not being prosecuted in practice.
The anomaly has been highlighted lately by the case of multiple sclerosis sufferer Debbie Purdy, who lost a legal bid to force the government to clarify the law on assisted suicide to protect her husband from any future action.
Opponents of any change in the law, like Care not Killing say it would open the floodgates and soon lead to a more general euthanasia law. How long would it be before old and terminally ill people might find themselves being encouraged or even forced to take their own lives?
Hewitt’s bid to change the law is not likely to be successful, despite cross-party support in the House of Commons. Do you think she is right?