Why we oppose the Assisted Dying Bill

Find out more about why we oppose legalising assisted suicide

A new Assisted Dying Bill is being debated by Members of Parliament Friday 11 September. 

The Assisted Dying (No.2) Bill attempts to add some additional judicial safeguards to the version of the bill that was introduced in the House of Lords last year by Lord Falconer – but we feel these safeguards still don’t go far enough.

Scope – along with the Prime Minister, disabled activists, doctors, lawyers, older people’s charities and national newspapers – is opposed to a change in the law on assisted dying. 

Our research shows that the majority of disabled people fear a change to assisted suicide law.

Scope has written to MPs to express our opposition to the change in the law. We're highlighting the fact that  the new bill does not address the underlying fundamental flaws with the proposal:
  • The Assisted Dying Bill will have a profound impact on disabled people and sends a message to disabled people that their lives are not worth living.
  • Individuals are more likely to choose to end their lives because they feel they are a burden.
  • In the absence of adequate support to live independently, disabled people who lose autonomy may feel pressured to end their lives.
  • There is no definition of mental competency in the Bill – described by one commentator as “a serious structural weakness” with this proposal. The focus must be on supporting people to come to terms with feelings of depression rather than helping them to end their life.
  •  The definition of “Reasonably expected to die within six months” set out in the Bill would capture many disabled people – it could include many people with life limiting conditions who may be given a prognosis of less than six months but then go on to live fulfilling lives for many years.
Read an overview of why Scope is against changing the law on assisted suicide.  

Read Scope’s blog posts on last year’s Assisted Dying Bill.