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Assisted dying/assisted suicide

Inquiry

The Health and Social Care Committee is holding an inquiry into assisted dying/assisted suicide.

The deadline for submitting written evidence or responding to our online form has now passed. We are publishing the written evidence we have received on the publications page of the inquiry. Please note that the written evidence and roundtable transcripts contains details that some readers might find distressing.

We are currently holding oral evidence sessions for this inquiry. Details are available below.

Terminology

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology briefing note on assisted dying defines the term as follows:

“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.”

Safeguarding and support

If you have immediate concerns about yourself or someone else, you should contact the Police on 999.

In addition to your GP, the following organisations may be able to offer support or further information:  

  • Samaritans– Support and guidance for everyone.  Call 116 123 - 24 hours a day every day or Email jo@samaritans.org
  • The Silver Line- Support for older people; a free confidential helpline providing "information, friendship and advice" to people aged 55 and over, and support for "older people who are suffering abuse and neglect"; open 24 hours a day every day.  Call 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Mind - For information, advice, and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Call: 0300 123 3393.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Friday 20 January 2023.

Upcoming events

View all events

No upcoming events scheduled

Past events

Tuesday 4 July 2023
9:30am Private
10:00am Public
Assisted dying/assisted suicide - Oral evidence 4 July 2023
10:00am
  • Dr Paul Perkins (Chief Medical Director at Sue Ryder)
  • Dr Matthew Doré (Honorary Secretary at Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland)
  • Jonathan Ellis (Director of Policy, Advocacy & Clinical Programmes at Hospice UK)
10:45am
  • Helen Whately MP (Minister of State at Department of Health and Social Care)
  • Professor Stephen Powis (National Medical Director at NHS England)
Room 6, Palace of Westminster
Tuesday 27 June 2023
9:30am Private
10:00am Public
Assisted dying/assisted suicide - Oral evidence 27 June 2023
10:00am
  • Dr Georg Bosshard (Practicing geriatrician and nursing home physician, reader for clinical ethics at University of Zürich)
  • Dr Yvonne Gilli (President at Swiss Medical Association (FMH))
  • Professor Samia Hurst-Majno (Professor of Biomedical Ethics at University of Geneva, and member of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics)
10:45am
  • Silvan Luley (Team member at DIGNITAS - To live with dignity - To die with dignity)
  • Bernhard Sutter (Director at EXIT (Deutsche Schweiz))
Room 16, Palace of Westminster
Tuesday 6 June 2023
9:00am Private
9:30am Public
Assisted dying/assisted suicide - Oral evidence 6 June 2023
9:30am
  • Professor Irene Tuffrey-Wijne (Professor of Intellectual Disability and Palliative Care at Kingston University London)
  • Professor Jan L Bernheim (Oncologist, Emeritus Professor of medicine and medical ethics, End of-Life Care Research Group at Vrije Universiteit Brussels)
  • Professor Rutger Jan van der Gaag (Professor of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and former President at Royal Dutch Medical Association)
10:15am
  • Professor James Downar (Professor and Head, Division of Palliative Care at University of Ottawa)
  • Professor Trudo Lemmens (Professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy, Faculty of Law at University of Toronto)
  • Dr Scott Kim (Adjunct Professor Psychiatry, University of Michigan; Senior Investigator at Department of Bioethics at National Institutes of Health USA)
Room 5, Palace of Westminster
Tuesday 16 May 2023
9:30am Private
10:00am Public
Assisted dying/assisted suicide - Oral evidence 16 May 2023
10:00am
  • The Hon Kyam Maher MLC (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, and Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector at Government of South Australia)
  • Professor Brian Owler (Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, the Sydney Adventist Hospital, Norwest Private Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital)
  • Dr Gary Gheung (Associate Professor & Old Age Psychiatrist, Department of Psychological Medicine at University of Auckland)
  • Professor Roderick MacLeod former Senior Consultant and Senior Medical Specialist in Palliative Care
11:00am
  • Dr Chandana Banerjee (Associate Professor Hospice & Palliative Medicine at City of Hope National Medical Center)
  • Dr Lydia Dugdale (Director, Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University)
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House

Contact us

We can't usually help you with an individual problem or a specific complaint.

  • Email: hsccom@parliament.uk
  • Phone: (general enquiries) 020 7219 6182 | 020 7219 6832 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Health and Social Care Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA