Assisted dying assisted suicide Canada Euthanasia

Prue and Danny’s Death Road Trip: Navigating the Debate on Assisted Suicide

The TV show “Prue and Danny’s Death Road Trip” follows Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith and her son Danny as they travel across the US to explore end-of-life options. Prue Leith supports a change in the law in the UK, and her son Danny, a Conservative MP, does not. The show focuses on the debate about assisted suicide and interviews people who have pursued medically assisted suicide and those who oppose it.

The show raises important questions about end-of-life care, including the choice to pursue medically assisted suicide. While Leith advocates for the right to choose one’s own death, Kruger presses his concerns that legalising assisted suicide could put vulnerable populations, such as individuals with disabilities, at risk.

Seated in a wheelchair wearing a black cardigan and a black and white dressBaroness Jane Campbell says, “The programme highlighted the pitfalls and dangers of assisted suicide and the well-known arguments in favour, which we welcome. However, we would have liked to have heard more voices of disabled people feature in person. Many can’t get the health and social care support they need to live independent, dignified lives. The voice of those with experience must be at the forefront of the debate as well as those who seek assisted dying.

We saw a country where the criteria for qualification for a medically assisted death expand to those who are not terminally ill. Don’t forget hard cases make bad law. We’d do well to heed one of Danny Kruger’s final points. ‘We won’t be able to write the law in a way that is safe.’ That’s the burning worry for people like us.”

Not Dead Yet UK believes that a change in the law on assisted   suicide could lead to unintended consequences.

  1. Legalising assisted suicide may create a perception that the lives of people with disabilities are less valuable than those without disabilities. If the law permits assisted suicide, it may create a societal message that the lives of people with disabilities are not worth living. This could increase the stigmatisation of people with disabilities, who may feel pressured to end their lives rather than seek support and care.
  2. Assisted suicide could lead to abuse and coercion. If assisted suicide were legal, it could become a cheaper alternative to providing long-term care for disabled people. This could create a financial incentive for insurance companies or carers to push people with disabilities towards suicide. The risk of abuse and coercion would be particularly high for people who are isolated or dependent on others for care.
  3. The definition of “terminal illness” may be interpreted too broadly, which would increase the risk of vulnerable people being targeted. In jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal, it has been shown that the definition of terminal illness can be broadly interpreted. This could result in people with disabilities being considered eligible for assisted suicide even if their disability is not terminal. This would put vulnerable people at risk of being pressured to end their lives prematurely.
  4. Assisted suicide could undermine efforts to improve palliative care. If assisted suicide were legal, resources could be redirected from improving palliative care to providing assisted suicide. This would be a missed opportunity to improve the quality of life for disabled people and other life-limiting conditions.
  5. If doctors are allowed to participate in assisted suicide, this could change the nature of the doctor-patient relationship. It could create a situation where patients are seen as a burden, and doctors feel they have a duty to provide death as an option. This could create a conflict of interest for doctors, who may be expected to provide both care and death to their patients.

The programme touched on palliative care as an alternative to assisted suicide. NDYUK believes that alongside the provision of high-quality social care, palliative care would provide supportive care and treatment to individuals with life-limiting illnesses or conditions to improve their quality of life and reduce suffering.

Palliative care addresses physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and includes pain management, symptom relief, and psychosocial support. The emphasis is on improving quality of life rather than hastening death.  It can also support families and carers who may be experiencing significant stress and emotional strain.

By providing comprehensive support and care, palliative care can help individuals feel more comfortable, improve their quality of life, and give them a sense of meaning and purpose.

Not Dead Yet UK opposes a change in the law on assisted suicide; we believe it could lead to abuse and coercion, a broader interpretation of “terminal illness,” and the stigmatisation of disabled people. Legalising assisted suicide could undermine efforts to improve palliative care and create a conflict of interest for doctors. NDYUK advocates for palliative care and social care as alternatives to assisted suicide, these approaches focus on improving quality of life and provide comprehensive support and care for disabled people and those with life-limiting illnesses or conditions.


Assisted dying Canada Disability Euthanasia

Call to Action: Join the Conversation on Assisted Suicide and Help Amplify Disabled Voices

Hello everyone

We wanted to get in touch with you as you may be aware that there is going to be a documentary featuring Prue Leith (yes, that one!), who is a supporter of assisted suicide, and her MP son Danny Kruger, who is against assisted suicide and is leading the Parliamentary campaign to ensure assisted suicide is not made legal in the UK.

The programme goes out on Channel 4 this Thursday (February 16th) on Channel 4 at 9pm. Here are the details:

Prue and Danny’s Death Road Trip | All 4 (

We’ll be tweeting in the run-up to the programme from the @notdeadyetuk Twitter account, commenting on media pieces. We’ll also tweet during the programme itself.

What we want you to do

We want our members with social media accounts to contribute to the conversations around assisted suicide. There is a strong leaning in favour of assisted suicide in the media at the moment, and that’s reflected to an extent on social media platforms. We want to ensure the voices of disabled people are heard.

What we don’t want or need you to do

There’s no need to engage directly with assisted suicide campaigners or the organisations they support. We’re trying to avoid increasing their volume.

What are we trying to get across?

There’s growing evidence and concerns about the rapid growth of people who are becoming eligible for assisted suicide in Canada and the application of the criteria. We’ve always been very worried about this.

This is causing problems for our opponents, who have in the past said the Canadian assisted suicide laws are working perfectly well.

So we are raising the profile of this issue and the dangers of assisted suicide legislation and reminding people that we would like help to live, not die.

We’ll be saying:

  • There’s no way to legislate for assisted suicide that is safe
  • All other countries which have put in place assisted suicide legislation have relaxed their criteria for applying it
  • Canada is seeing growing groups of people being offered MAID (medical assistance in dying), including people with eating disorders and other treatable conditions
  • There’s a need for better provision of palliative care in the UK so people get the health and social care support they need at the end of their lives
  • Disabled people want support to live, not assistance to die.

What about references and resources?

Here’s a Twitter thread from Danny Kruger from earlier this month, citing examples of people who have received MAID in Canada:
Danny Kruger on Twitter: “I’m on Newsnight later talking about the Canadian experience of euthanasia. I won’t have time to cite all these examples of what’s going on… all presented to MPs this week by Canadian doctors @LeonieHerx and Dr Ramona Coelho at a meeting of @DyingWellAppg. Read on:” / Twitter

This is an article from the Scotland Herald quoting a Canadian palliative care expert on the disaster unfolding in Canada.

Scotland be warned: Canada’s euthanasia law has been horrific | HeraldScotland

And there are articles from our founder, Baroness Jane Campbell, and others on the news pages of the Not Dead Yet website, which you can quote from.

News – Not Dead Yet UK

Any help you can give to make out voices better heard would be really welcome. If you have any queries or questions, do get in touch with Phil Friend on or Ben Furner on

Thanks in advance for your help!

Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Euthanasia

New Inquiry on Assisted Suicide launched

The Health and Social Care Committee has launched a new inquiry to examine different perspectives in the debate on assisted dying/assisted suicide.

The inquiry will explore the arguments across the debate with a focus on the healthcare aspects of assisted dying/assisted suicide. It intends to consider the role of medical professionals, access to palliative care, what protections would be needed to safeguard against coercion, and the criteria for eligibility to access assisted dying/assisted suicide services. MPs will also look at what can be learnt from international experiences.

Evidence sessions are expected to begin in the new year 2023. MPs will make their recommendations to the government on the next steps in a report following the inquiry.

We urge all of our supporters to contact their MPs to explain why the present law should be retained.

Assisted dying assisted suicide Euthanasia

Assisted Suicide Post Brief 47

This is a summary of a report on Assisted Dying compiled for the UK Parliament. Zeynab Al-Khero a researcher for Not Dead Yet UK, contributed to the report.

If you want to read the complete report, click this link  Assisted Dying Report


There is no consensus on which terminology to use when debating the issue of whether people should be legally permitted to seek assistance with ending their lives. A range of terms are used internationally, and the choice of term often reflects underlying views on the debate. The terms used in this briefing are not intended to endorse or reflect any particular stance on the debate about changing the law.

‘Assisted dying’ refers here to the involvement of healthcare professionals in the provision of lethal drugs intended to end a patient’s life at their voluntary request, subject to eligibility criteria and safeguards. It includes healthcare professionals prescribing lethal drugs for the patient to self-administer (‘physician-assisted suicide’) and healthcare professionals administering lethal drugs (‘euthanasia’).

It is an offence (in England and Wales) to assist or encourage another person’s suicide under section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961. Euthanasia is illegal across the UK under the Homicide Act 1957 and could be prosecuted as murder or manslaughter.

This POST brief provides a brief overview of assisted dying, including ethical debate and stakeholder opinion. It examines how assisted dying functions within health services in countries where it is a legal option, focusing on jurisdictions where most data are available on outcomes: Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Oregon (United States), Switzerland and Victoria (Australia). It also covers evidence and expert opinion on key practical considerations that are raised in the context of assisted dying.

Further information on the criminal law on assisted suicide (a subset of assisted dying), human rights challenges and previous parliamentary activity is provided in the Commons Library briefing on The law on assisted suicide.

Key points

Key ethical debate centres on autonomy and the protection of vulnerable groups. Robust data on UK public perspectives on assisted dying and variations between different groups are limited. Public understanding of the term ‘assisted dying’ is low in the UK, but some recent UK polls and surveys suggest that a majority of the UK public support some form of assisted dying.

Several medical bodies are opposed, while others have moved from opposing assisted dying to a position of neutrality, meaning that they neither support nor oppose a change in UK law.

No medical Royal College has expressed support for changing the law on assisted dying in the UK.

At the time of writing, some form of assisted dying is legal in at least 27 jurisdictions worldwide. Legislation on eligibility and governance of assisted dying varies:

  • In almost all jurisdictions, it is restricted to adults (including Canada, Oregon, Switzerland and Victoria), while in a few it can also include children with parental consent (including Belgium and the Netherlands).
  • In some jurisdictions, assisted dying is restricted to people with a terminal illnesses (including Oregon and Victoria). In others, it can also be accessed by those experiencing “constant and unbearable” suffering that cannot be relieved but who are not terminally ill. This can be restricted to suffering arising from serious physical illness only (including Canada until 2023), or also include those whose suffering arises from psychiatric illness (including Belgium, Canada from 2023 and the Netherlands).
  • In many jurisdictions where it is a legal option, assisted dying is provided as part of the healthcare system; in Switzerland, it is not part of the healthcare system.
  • Recent official data show that use in different jurisdictions varies. For example, recorded deaths from assisted dying were 0.59% of the total deaths in Oregon in 2021 and 4.2% of the total deaths in the Netherlands in 2019. Research suggests that there is underreporting of assisted dying in some jurisdictions where it is a legal option. Official figures show increasing use over time.Research and stakeholders highlight a range of key practical considerations in the context of assisted dying. Many of these issues are interrelated and are raised in ethical debates:
  • There are different perspectives on whether it is difficult to prevent incremental extension of legislation and eligibility criteria once assisted dying is legalised and whether this is perceived as a concern or as removing barriers to access.
  • Determining prognosis of terminal illness can be difficult and there is debate on how to evaluate whether suffering is “constant and unbearable”. For patients with mental disorders, debate also focuses on how to assess whether suffering is irremediable or whether it could be relieved over time.
  • Assessing patients’ mental capacity for assisted dying requests is complex and can be particularly challenging where the person has psychiatric disorders, such as severe depression, which can impair decision-making capacity. There is also debate on who is best placed to assess capacity and identify potential coercion. The practice of relying on advance directives to authorise euthanasia and the use of assisted dying in those aged under 18 years is controversial.
  • There are limited empirical data on the impact of assisted dying on vulnerable groups, including older people and people with disabilities, in jurisdictions where it is legal. Available studies do not report evidence that assisted dying has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups. However, concerns about potential abuses in some jurisdictions have been reported in academic literature and several studies have called for detailed monitoring of assisted dying practice and further research.
  • There is debate on whether assisting dying is compatible with the role of healthcare professionals. Research on the effects of their involvement in assisted dying on healthcare professionals in jurisdictions where it is a legal part of healthcare suggests that healthcare professionals have a range of experiences, both positive and negative.
  • None of the drugs used for assisted dying are approved by a regulatory authority for medicines for a lethal purpose. There is not consensus on the most effective drug or drug combination for ending a human life and specific drugs, doses and monitoring vary.
  • There is very limited research on the social and cultural impact of legalising assisted dying.
  • There is debate on whether legalising assisted dying has an adverse or beneficial impact on palliative and end of life care (P&EOLC) resources and services. Evidence is mixed and suggests that the relationship between P&EOLC and assisted dying is varied and that impacts in any jurisdiction may not be the same as in other jurisdictions, even within the same country.
Assisted dying assisted suicide

The Mansfield case (Guardian, 23 July) -Should never be a reason to change the law on assisted suicide in the UK.

A man who slit his wife’s throat “in an act of love” and tried to kill himself has been found not guilty of murder after a judge accepted the couple had made a suicide pact.

Mr Mansfield called for a change in the law on assisted dying: “I’d just like to say, the law needs to change. Nobody should have to go through what we went through. Unfortunately, today, my wife is not here. She shouldn’t have had to die in such barbaric circumstances. That was what we had to resort to.”  Guardian Story link

Not Dead UK says, “The Mansfield case (Guardian, 23 July) should never be a reason to change the law on assisted suicide in the UK. This was not an act of compassion, it was an irrational and horrific response of someone who desperately needed mental health support. The current system works as an effective deterrent to some who may want to end the life of a vulnerable person for reasons which are currently unlawful. It is crucial to protect and support all people in that situation. What this story tells us is that Mr Mansfield and his wife did not receive this help. 

Unfortunately, those who support assisted suicide are using this horrific tragedy to promote a need for a change in the law. But this will not help those people and their loved ones who are in desperate need of both timely physical and mental health care, not an assisted death. We at Not Dead Yet UK find using this tragic case to promote assisted suicide is disturbingly unethical”.

Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Do Not Resuscitate Meacher Bil

A Message for DPOs

We are writing to seek your support in opposing the legalising of Assisted Suicide, which will soon be debated in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments. Although, over recent years, there have been several attempts to pass legislation to make Assisted Suicide legal in the UK, these have been overwhelmingly defeated. The UK Supreme Court also ruled against legalising assisted suicide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of how disabled people are already denied life-saving support based on their impairments. How, then, can we even contemplate legalising Assisted Suicide at this point, when we are routinely denied the resources and support to assist us in living with dignity and respect?

How can you help? At the moment, we are simply asking that your organisation signs up to the statement below. Then please email us back confirming that your organisation is supportive of this. (

“We add our support to the growing number of disabled people’s organisations, both nationally and internationally, who oppose Assisted Suicide.  At a time in the UK when disabled people are recovering from the effects of the pandemic and facing massive cuts to social care support services and benefits, we need support to live, not assistance to die.”

Finally, below are links to some articles about why many disabled people object to legalising Assisted Suicide and how Covid 19 has highlighted the fact that the lives of disabled people are increasingly deemed to be of less value within our society.

We’re told we are a burden. No wonder disabled people fear assisted suicide;

6 out of 10 people who have died from COVID-19 are disabled;

Disabled people like me fear legal assisted suicide: it suggests that some lives are less worth living;

Doctors Issuing Unlawful ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Orders For Disabled Covid Patients ‘Outrageous’;


Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Meacher Bill

We need your help.

The Meacher Bill

We need to ensure that the Meacher Bill fails to attract the necessary support in Parliament. We need your help to contact and persuade Peers and MPs of the dangers this Bill poses to many disabled people.

Letter writing, social and broadcast media work and direct contact with MP’s and Peers are critical.

We have drafted a letter you could use as a template to contact your MP.  Please feel free to edit to suit your purposes.

MP Letter Template


The BMA is due to debate assisted suicide later this year. It is crucial that they stay neutral or, if possible, are persuaded to oppose a change in the law. We need you to engage with your GP’s and other medical practitioners to express your concerns.

This is why we need a strong campaign to defeat this latest attempt to legalise Assisted Suicide.

Peter Thomas, 47 from Birmingham says, “I’m fearful of others, including some medics, questioning why I haven’t opted for assisted suicide”.

Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Meacher Bill

Now is Not the Time

Assisted suicide legislation is a threat to disabled people’s lives, independence and peace of mind.

We recognise that there is a range of views amongst disabled people as a whole on this issue, and we can see the argument for having a sensible, rational debate about assisted dying. But not now.

In every jurisdiction where a form of assisted suicide has been legalised, the numbers dying have increased over time. Once assisted suicide is law, society has endorsed it as an option, equal to that of life. Those who had never considered it will be told that it is an option. Their families, friends, health and social care professions will all know it as an option too.

It is hard enough already for those of us with terminal illnesses and disabilities to get the support services we need to live active, independent lives. The COVID pandemic has made that harder and bought into sharp focus the value society places on us. Many of us have lost health and social care support over the last year. And 6 out of 10 COVID related deaths have been disabled people.

For essential support to become merely the alternative option to assisted suicide terrifies us. That is why no organisation of terminally ill or disabled people has sought a change in the law.

We need help to live – not to die. That means investment in palliative care, pragmatic solutions to social care provision and continued financial support for our world-class NHS.

These are the issues our parliamentarians should be concentrating on, rather than the Pandora’s Box of assisted suicide which might help the few, but at the expense of the many.

Assisted dying assisted suicide

Sunday Times to campaign for law change!

We understand that the Times and Sunday Times are supporting the latest attempt to change the law on assisted suicide.

They are backing a private member’s bill put forward by crossbench peer Baroness Meacher. The bill is scheduled to have its first reading later this week.

We would ask all of our supporters to raise their concerns by contacting the Editor of the Sunday Times.

Here is an extract from the newspaper article published on May the 23rd.

“Assisted dying is a delicate and sensitive issue. Some people are strongly in favour of it becoming legal in the UK, as it is already in a growing number of countries. Others feel strongly that it should not. Everybody, however, should agree that this is not an issue to be swept under the carpet indefinitely, and today The Sunday Times is launching a campaign to legalise assisted dying in this country.”

You can read more here


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