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Key question: Can we know if a person has capacity to end their own life?

Our view

Capacity already plays a key role in end-of-life decision-making. People with capacity can refuse treatment, even if that is likely to result in their death.

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) means there is a legal framework that exists to support doctors to assess capacity.

If a doctor doubted a person’s capacity they would have to refer them to another professional, such as a psychiatrist.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists have a neutral stance on assisted dying.