FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Some healthcare professionals are firmly set in their views for or against legalising assisted dying. However, if assisted dying were to be legalised, there are many healthcare professionals who are concerned about the impact this would have on their team, their service, and the NHS.
Doctors are trained to share decisions with patients, explain what treatments can work and make clear any risks. It is not part of their usual training or practice to make ‘life or death’ decisions. In fact, when there are conflicts, doctors ask the courts to decide and some judges are trained to make such decisions.
All legislations that allow assisted dying, monitor cases after the patient has died and only if the doctor has declared the death formally.
If Court Authorised Assisted Dying (CA-AD) were adopted, the UK would be the first country in the world to legally evaluate and approve assisted dying in advance of the death.
Yes, but only about the patient’s medical condition. Doctors already write reports for the courts on such matters. What they would not be doing is deciding eligibility for assisted dying.
No. The court would order the drug to be dispensed. Prescribing was decoupled from doctors many years ago and many professions can now prescribe.
Assisted dying is not a medical treatment and the majority of doctors do not want to participate, even if they agree with its legalisation.
On the contrary.
Having the courts decide on eligibility would free healthcare professionals to focus all their efforts and resources on caring for patients throughout their life, and providing bereavement care for relatives afterwards.
Any legislation can ensure that this would be free to those applying.
There is growing evidence that such panels are failing to monitor safeguards (see: Evidence from Belgium).