Assisted dying assisted suicide

Royal College of GP’s poll supports opposition to assisted dying.

This is the official statement issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners today regarding the poll recently undertaken to test the views of GP’s.

“The Royal College of General Practitioners will continue to oppose a change in the law on assisted dying, following consultation of its members. The decision was ratified by the RCGP’s governing Council today.

The member survey was conducted independently by Savanta ComRes. 6,674 members from across the UK responded to the online survey – 13.47% of those consulted*.

Members were asked whether RCGP should change its current position of opposing a change in the law on assisted dying:

  • 47% of respondents said that the RCGP should oppose a change in the law on assisted dying
  • 40% of respondents said the RCGP should support a change in the law on assisted dying, providing there is a regulatory framework and appropriate safeguarding processes in place
  • 11% of respondents said that the RCGP should have a neutral position and
  • 2% of respondents abstained from answering.

RCGP Council agreed today that the survey results did not support a change in the College’s existing position on assisted dying.

Under current laws in each of the four UK nations, assisted dying is illegal. The RCGP last reviewed its position on assisted dying in 2014 following a member consultation in 2013.

RCGP Council has decided that it will not review the College`s position on this issue for at least five years unless there are significant developments on the issue.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “As the UK’s largest medical Royal College it is important that we engage in debate and listen to what our members have to say on wide-ranging issues affecting GPs and their patients.

“Assisted dying is a controversial topic and this was reflected in the responses to our consultation. However, the highest proportion of respondents said that the College should continue to oppose a change in the law on assisted dying.

“This was the largest consultation on an issue of public policy that the College has conducted both in terms of response rate and volume of respondents. The survey results have been helpful in guiding the College Council as to what our position should be.

“The role of the College now is to ensure that patients receive the best possible palliative and end of life care, and to this end, we are working with Marie Curie and others to support this”.

Assisted dying assisted suicide Care Not Killing

Isle of Man Parliament to vote on Assisted Suicide

Not Dead Yet is very concerned to learn that there is going to be a vote on assisted suicide in the Tynwald on the Isle of Man on Tuesday 21st Jan. There is no safe system of assisted suicide and disabled people want help to live, not to die. We would ask on anyone who lives on the Isle of Man to write to their Members of the House of Keys expressing concern about this vote and calling on MHKs to oppose this motion.

Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability

GP’s are being surveyed on Assisted Dying – Time to Act.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is in the process of consulting its 53,000 members as to what its stance should be on whether there should be a change in the law on assisted dying.

The College last consulted its members on the issue in 2013. The result, announced in February 2014, was that the College should not change its stance, and as such, its current position is that it is opposed to any change in the law on assisted dying.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the RCGP, said: “Assisted dying is an incredibly emotive issue that polarises opinions. “It has been nearly six years since we asked our members as to whether we should support a change in the law on assisted dying – since then, it is possible that views within our membership have shifted. “As such, RCGP Council has decided that the time is right to conduct this consultation, and we will be issuing further details of how we will do this in due course.”

GP’s have until 13th December to submit their answer.

We are aware that just about everyone has a view on this and just about everyone has been asked what their opinion is. Everyone but us, the people who could be most affected.

Baroness Jane Campbell states, “Most disabled people oppose assisted suicide. We do not want it. We campaign against it. We are frightened by attempts to change the law, thereby weakening or removing the protection that we currently depend upon. Protection that is provided to everyone by Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961. We do not wish to be treated differently because we are terminally ill or disabled. Those seeking to change the law do not do so in our name. In fact, we are so fearful of a change in the law that we established Not Dead Yet UK to oppose all attempts to legalise assisted suicide. We find efforts to propagate the euphemism “assisted dying” sinister and alarming.”

There is still time for you to influence your GP’s decision.

If you are visiting your surgery or in touch via other means ask your GP how they intend to vote on this crucial issue.

Please make sure that you tell your GP that you are against a change in the law.


Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability

Vince Cable causes real concern

Responding to the news that the Royal College of Physicians has adopted a neutral stance on assisted dying, Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable said “As someone who has recently been persuaded of the merits of allowing properly regulated assisted dying with safeguards, it is reassuring that many medical professionals are also making the same journey.

“Opinion is changing and it is now overdue that legislation should come forward to address this important social issue.”

We believe that Mr Cable’s faith in so-called “safeguards” is misplaced. Furthermore, all previous debates in parliament have rejected changing the law in part because safeguards were not safe.

We are calling any LibDem members of NDYUK or if you have some leverage or connection, to please contact the LibDem party and Vince Cable MP and explain to them why this is not a good idea.

Assisted dying assisted suicide

Welcome Tony Baldwinson

Many of you will recall how much support the late Juliet Marlow provided to Not Dead Yet UK. We came to rely on her to keep the NDYUK ship afloat and to ensure that our message was broadcast far and wide.

Her death was a tremendous shock and left a very big hole in our hearts and in the way we organise and manage our campaigns. Fortunately, another great ally, Tony Baldwinson has volunteered his time and expertise to help support us. We are delighted to have him as part of our group.

Tony will take on many of Juliet’s past activities. He will manage our social media campaign work and support our communications with members and supporters.

Tony works as a project manager and activist with over 40 years’ experience in the public, voluntary and community sectors around Manchester, both paid and as a volunteer.

His first involvement in working with the social model was with Manchester Mind’s radical campaigns around 1980. (Tony’s late partner Lorraine Gradwell, was Breakthrough UK’s first chief executive and was known and respected by many disabled activists).

Tony’s has a degree in Computation and his Masters was on The history of the photography of disabled people’s organisations in England. His favourite ‘find’ was a photo negative of a protest march in 1920 under a banner saying “Justice Not Charity”.

He is currently working on the creation of detailed archives for around a dozen radical disability and mental health organisations.

His day job is in managing projects with EU funding.

You can contact Tony at

Good luck Tony and welcome aboard.

Assisted dying assisted suicide

Noel Conway has lost his appeal at the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court judges rejected Noel Conway’s bid to appeal against the ruling, as his chance of success was “not sufficient”.

It means Mr Conway’s case cannot proceed any further.

In a joint statement the judges, Lady Hale, Lord Reed and Lord Kerr, said they had reached their decision “not without some reluctance”.

For more information




Assisted dying assisted suicide

Conway has applied for permission to appeal.

The Supreme Court has received an application for permission to appeal in a case that raises the issue as to whether section 1(2) of the Suicide Act 1961, which makes assisting suicide a crime, is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”).

The appellant, Mr Conway, is a 68-year-old man who was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease (“MND”) in November 2014. Mr Conway has to use a wheelchair and requires ever increasing levels of assistance with daily life, including breathing, eating and bodily functions.

When Mr Conway has a prognosis of six months or less to live, he wishes to have the option of taking action to end his life peacefully and with dignity, accomplished with the assistance of the medical profession, at a time of his choosing, whilst remaining in control of such final act as may be required to bring about his death.

Mr Conway applied to the High Court for a declaration of incompatibility under section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (“HRA”) on the basis that section 2(1) of the 1961 Act is a disproportionate interference with his right to respect for his private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human rights. On 5 October 2017, the Divisional Court dismissed Mr Conway’s application, and his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 27 June 2018.

The Supreme Court is aware of the urgency of the matter and an oral hearing took place on Thursday 22 November a panel of three Supreme Court Justices. No decision was made at the hearing – Lady Hale said that it would be made ‘as soon as possible’.

Following the Supreme Court hearing, if permission to appeal is granted, a further hearing date will be set to consider the substantive appeal.


Juliet Marlow RIP

It is with great sadness that Not Dead Yet UK must report the sudden and untimely death of our member and dear friend Juliet Marlow. Juliet passed away on the 11th of August after a short illness.

She was NDYUK’s communication guru and lynchpin. She often spoke on our behalf and was responsible for ensuring that our supporters and allies were always kept informed about our campaigns.

Juliet was totally committed to this work and ensured that everyone knew exactly what we were doing, why we were doing it and she helped everybody take our message forward. She devoted a great amount of time and energy to our cause.

But there was also so much more to Juliet’s talents. She researched for us, she wrote for us and she spoke for us, often to very hostile audiences. She was courageous, kind and above all, one of the most generous people we have ever known.

Juliet’s funeral will take place on the 31st of August in Basingstoke.

Our love and prayers go to her family, friends and her partner Keith.


Noel Conway loses his assisted dying challenge

Phil Friend from Not Dead Yet, which intervened in the case, said:

“We’re pleased that the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Divisional Court which had refused the claim that the prohibition on assisted dying is incompatible with the Human Rights Act.

“We’re particularly pleased that the court recognised some of the concerns in our submission around the dangers of legalising assisted dying. These include issues such as safeguards for people who might be at risk of coercion, the difficulties in predicting death within six months, and whether any scheme might be extended (as has happened in Belgium).

“The debate will continue, but we remain firm in our view that assisted dying opens the door to risks and dangers driven by attitudes about disabled people and their lives. It’s worth noting that no disability charity or organisation is campaigning for a change in the law around assisted dying. We want support to live, not to die.

“We’ve seen two recent NHS reports which catalogue the systemic failures to provide appropriate care for disabled people, resulting in their premature and unnecessary deaths. Until disabled people are seen, and treated, as equals in our society, the law must protect them.

“Our thanks go to Fry Law and Cloisters Chambers, which provided pro bono representation.”


A message from Baroness Jane Campbell

Just to let you know we are in the Appeal Court today! NDYUK were granted permission to make a formal intervention. Our barrister Cathy Casserley will be representing us. As many of you will know she is one of the country’s top discrimination barristers and as given us her time pro bono which is so brilliant as our crowd justice funding legal appeal will only go towards our lawyers’ expenses and when it inevitably goes to the Supreme Court (Win or lose this time around).

The case is likely to go on for three days. Our intervention will probably be heard on Thursday. As I said, whatever the outcome, it will be challenged and go to the Supreme Court, which we are prepared for. As you know this is a crucial case as it will be the first major threat to holding the line against the legalisation of assisted suicide in this country via the court system (bypassing Parliament). If anyone wants to read my witness statement which is a supplementary to my original one, or Cathy Casserley’s on our behalf, then please let me know.

Please make sure that our opposition is as strong as ever by messaging via Twitter and Facebook about our serious intervention in this Conway appeal. Again we are not demonstrating outside the courts because we want to show we are sensitive to Noel Conway’s situation but need to show the judges, the wider implications of his actions.

Unfortunately, I am grounded at home due to a relentless chest infection but Roger will be there watching the proceedings and supporting our lawyers today and Thursday. He will give anyone details of court number etc if they want to also go.

Onwards and upwards!