Why we want change

We understand that assisted suicide is a difficult issue but a mature society should be able to discuss difficult issues honestly and openly.

The great majority of people approaching death can have distressing symptoms relieved by doctors, nurses, carers or religious or secular counsellors. Palliative care specialists in particular have made a huge improvement to the management of end-of-life symptoms.

However, most health professionals recognise that a very small number of patients do not get satisfactory relief of their distress, be that physical, psychological or spiritual and these are the people for whom assisted suicide is being proposed.

Many people will recognise from their own experience a situation where a person would like to have seen their own suffering ended by “a merciful release”.

The current law that makes assisting suicide a crime means that neither the patient nor the health professional can easily broach the subject.

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