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Dignity in Dying comment on the death of Mr Sinclair at Dignitas, and the subsequent investigation

Two people were arrested yesterday for assisting terminally ill man, Mr Sinclair, to be assisted to die at Dignitas at his request.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:

“This is yet another tragic case of a terminally ill adult being forced to travel abroad in order to have an assisted death, and is a sad reminder of how our current law is failing dying patients and their loved ones.

“While it is likely that people accompanying a relative or friend abroad to die will be acting out of compassion, it is important that cases of assisted dying are investigated, despite this currently having to be a retrospective investigation, after the person has died.

“Much better would be an assisted dying law with upfront safeguards, which would investigate a request to die when the person is still alive and alternative options can be set out. This would better protect potentially vulnerable people, provide choice at the end of life for those suffering unbearably and prevent those who act compassionately towards another’s request to die from lengthy and distressing investigation whilst grieving for the loss of a loved one.”

Notes to editor:

About Dignity in Dying:

– Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.

– Dignity in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.

– The British Social Attitudes Survey 2010 found that 92% of non-religious and 71% of religious people support assisted dying. This relates to overall support of 82%.

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