Many different terms are used in the assisted dying debate. Assisted dying often describes prescribing life ending drugs for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to administer themselves after meeting strict legal safeguards. Assisted dying is illegal in England and Wales under section two of the Suicide Act 1961.

This POSTnote will provide a brief summary of the ethical debate and research on public opinion on assisted dying and related UK legislation. It will focus on the practical implications of assisted dying, including how it functions within health services in countries where it is a legal option and the role of technology. It will also examine what safeguards have been implemented for patients and clinicians in other countries and evidence on what impact these have had, as well as the cultural effects of incorporating assisted dying into health systems.

Work on this POSTnote has started.

To contribute expertise, literature or as an external reviewer, please email Devyani Gajjar.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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