Current legal position of euthanasia in the UK

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  • Active euthanasia is currently illegal.
    • The current legal position on Euthanasia in the UK.
      • 1993 Parliament rejected a proposal to legalise assisted suicide.
        • "Next to impossible to ensure that all acts of euthanasia were truly voluntary".
      • Assisted suicide made illegal under the Suicide Act 1971.
        • Could be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter and face 14 years in prison.
      • 2010 the Government issued new guidelines about those who help a loved one to die (Assisted Suicide).
        • E.g. by helping them to travel to Dignitas Clinic (in Switzerland) or helping them to take an overdose.
          • Guidelines state a person won't be prosecuted as long as:
            • Victim was in the right mind and asked to help to die.
              • They report it to the police immediately.
                • Person assisting a close relative or friend acting out of compassion and love. Can't be a person's doctor.
      • Mental Capacity Act 2007; patients have the right to refuse treatment.
        • Also have the right to appoint an representation with the 'power of attorney' to order a hospital to stop giving treatment.
      • 2015, the debate on assisted suicide came before Parliament once again.
        • Falconer's Bill, once again it was rejected by a vote of 72%
      • Other EU countries, notably Belgium, Holland and Switzerland - voluntary active euthanasia is permitted.
        • Only for those who have expressed a desire to die and where the consent of 2 doctors and a panel of experts agree.
    • Illegal under the Homicide Act 1957.
      • "A crime to deliberately or recklessly bring about the death of another person without just cause".


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