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Dignity in Dying statement on Howard Martin non prosecution

On the case of Dr Howard Martin’s non prosecution for allegedly directly ending the lives of patients, Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying said:

“This case demonstrates the problem with the current law. A stringent assisted dying law with up-front safeguards where a request to die is investigated before, not after, a patient is assisted to die, would better protect against possible abuse than the current law. People should not be forced to suffer against their wishes at the end of their lives, but no one should be taking decisions to end another person’s life, and without a law safeguarding this process, patients are having their deaths hastened, with or without their consent.”

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%.