The law on assisted suicide

  • It is an offence to encourage or assist a suicide or a suicide attempt in England and Wales.
  • Anyone doing so could face up to 14 years in prison.
  • To date, more than 100 UK citizens have travelled to Dignitas in Switzerland to die.
  • Although some cases have been considered by the DPP, no relative has yet been prosecuted.

In February 2010 the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer published draft guidance to outline the factors that would determine whether someone would be prosecuted for assisting a suicide.

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Right-to-die High Court plea

A man suffering from "locked-in" syndrome who says his life is "undignified and intolerable" is taking his right-to-die plea to the High Court. Tony Nicklinson suffered a stroke in 2005 that left him paralysed below the neck and unable to speak.