After a 14-month long inquiry, the Health and Social Care Committee have released their report on euthanasia/assisted suicide, for which they use the term ‘assisted dying/assisted suicide’ (AD/AS). The Committee explored how AD/AS operates in other countries. They also examined UK palliative care provision. The report serves as an up-to-date resource for further discussion and debate in future Parliaments. 

This comprehensive and balanced report took evidence from a wide range of stakeholders. The APPG for Dying Well particularly noted the following observations:

  1. There is a concerning lack of transparency in how AD/AS processes are being conducted in different jurisdictions.
  2. It is extremely difficult to assess capacity and to safeguard a person seeking AD/AS.
  3. Provision of palliative and end-of-life services in the UK urgently needs to be improved to ensure fair access: 

a. The Government should commit to an uplift of funding for palliative and end-of-life care services in the UK.

b. The Government should establish a national strategy for death literacy and improved mental health support following a terminal diagnosis.

The Committee’s reservations about Oregon’s continued lack of progress on data reporting and monitoring of lethal drugs flies in the face of it often being cited as an exemplar for AD/AS proposals. Notably, these reservations echo concerns raised in the previous House of Lords Inquiry (2005; HL86).

The APPG for Dying Well welcomes any inquiries on the subject.