Proposals to introduce a Tribunal for Assisted Suicide in the UK

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It is time that Parliament took the brave and audacious move to publically debate
legalising assisted suicide in the UK. Even though a Private Members Bill has
recently been introduced in Parliament, it has little hope of success without
Government backing. The continual underlying objection of the fear of the
slippery slope and the effect of legalising assisted suicide would have on the
elderly and the vulnerable is a justifiable one; however, the patient’s autonomy
must be respected and it will be argued it is possible to legislate in favour of
assisted suicide whilst protecting the vulnerable. It will be argued that the
introduction of a Tribunal style system to speedily and sympathetically consider
each and every patient’s plea to end their lives should be introduced. This would
enable a panel, comprising representatives from both the judiciary and the medical profession an opportunity to assess each case on its merits. It would seek to confirm whether the patient has a terminal condition from which they will die within 9-12 months and each patient will be given a cooling off period to explore options of palliative care. Each case will be recorded and each death reported. The Panel will ensure that the patient is not being unduly pressurised and the person who will assist has nothing to gain. Each case will be closely monitored and each patient treated as an individual. Society should temper paternalism with respect for a patient’s autonomy in order to end the imbalance between the right of a patient to refuse medical treatment where they will surely die as a result and the lack of respect for the self determination of a patient who is clear they wish to end their life
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2013
Event1st Global Conference on Assisted Suicide, Suicide and Self harming - Athens, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Nov 20135 Nov 2013


Conference1st Global Conference on Assisted Suicide, Suicide and Self harming
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • assisted suicide


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