Lords stop attempt to legalise assisted dying

Assisted dying: still controversial
Assisted dying: still controversial

By politics.co.uk staff

The House of Lords has rejected a move to legalise Brits taking their loved ones overseas for assisted suicide.

The measure, which was fitted in as an amendment to the coroners and justice bill, was defeated in a free vote by 194 to 141.

It was proposed by Lord Falconer, former Labour Lord Chancellor and a flatmate of Tony Blair in university.


More than 100 people from the UK have gone to Swiss clinic Dignitas to die and, as yet, no-one has been prosecuted for assisting them.

However, such actions are currently deemed illegal under the Suicide Act.

The former lord chancellor's amendment called for the law to be voided if two doctors confirm the person is both terminally ill and competent enough to make such a decision.

The motion also said that the person travelling abroad to die will have to make a declaration that they have decided to have an assisted death and this should be witnessed by an independent person.

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