Daily Express



THE Daily Express is backing campaign group Dignity in Dying’s call for a change in the law to allow assisted dying as a choice for those suffering at the end of life.

The proposed system would allow someone who is over 18, mentally competent, terminally ill and reasonably expected to die within six months to ask a doctor to prescribe drugs to end their life.

The patient would make a written declaratio­n and two doctors would need to agree that they met the criteria. The applicatio­n would then be considered by a High Court judge.A waiting period, usually at least two weeks, would be required before lethal medication could be given.

This would allow time for the patient to reflect on their decision.The declaratio­n could be revoked at any time.

If the patient decided to go ahead, a doctor would be able to prescribe the medication­s to end their life.The decision to self-administer the medication, and the final act of doing so, would have to be taken by the patient.They could also choose not to take it.

Assisted dying is not the same as euthanasia, which involves medication being administer­ed by a third party such as a doctor.

It is also considered different to assisted suicide, which involves someone who is not terminally ill or imminently dying requesting assistance to end their life. Currently, assisting a suicide is a crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison in England and Wales.

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