After cancer sufferer Bob Cole told ITV News that right-to-die laws in the UK must change before he chose to end his life, we take a look at the current legal position.
What is assisted suicide?
Assisted suicide is when someone deliberately assists or encourages another person to kill themselves
What is the current legal position in the UK?
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal under English law
The Suicide Act 1961 makes it a criminal offence in England and Wales to:
Aid, abet, counsel or procure the suicide of another or an attempt of another to commit suicide.
Anyone caught doing so could face up to 14 years in prison
The law is almost identical in Northern Ireland
Campaigners in Scotland argue the law there lacks clarity
An Assisted Dying Bill was rejected by the Scottish Parliament in May
How does the UK's law compare to other countries?
Assisted suicide is currently only legal in:
US states of Washington and Oregon
Are there any plans to change the law in the UK?
Lord Falconer's Assisted Dying Bill is due to be debated in the House of Commons on September 11
If passed, it would allow doctors in England and Wales to end the life of a terminally ill and mentally competent patient with less than six months to live
Two independent doctors would have to sign a declaration that the person had made a decision to die
The patient would then administer the drugs themselves while in the company of a health professional
The heath professional will not be allowed to administer the medicine
What do pro-assisted dying campaigners say?
Assisted dying http://www.itv.com/news/2015-08-14/sir-patrick-stewart-assisted-dying-must-be-a-fundamental-right-for-us-all/ for us all. We must be free from torture and suffering, we must have the freedom to choose for ourselves. We have no choice about how and when we come into this word, but it seems that we should be able to have a choice in how we leave it if our death is fast approaching.
If the Assisted Dying Bill passes, people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through http://www.itv.com/news/2015-08-14/actress-liz-carr-we-need-an-assisted-living-bill-not-an-assisted-dying-bill/.
What does the British Medical Association (BMA) say?
All forms of assisted dying (euthanasia and assisted suicide) are illegal in the UK. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in England and Wales, and the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in Northern Ireland, look at individual cases to ascertain whether a prosecution should be brought.