MPs back legalisation of doctor-assisted suicide

Over half of MPs have backed calls to allow doctors to help terminally-ill patients to die.

A poll has shown a shift  in opinion from MPs on doctor-assisted suicide
A poll has shown a shift in opinion from MPs on doctor-assisted suicide

A poll by Ipsos Mori for campaign group Dignity in Dying found that 53% of MPs think doctors should not be prosecuted for assisting a suicide, as long as the patient is terminally ill and of sound mind. Just 40% said they should still be prosecuted.

The latest study shows a shift from the last time MPs were polled in 1997, when three quarters voted against doctor-assisted euthanasia. Law lords have been asked to clarify the current law after a series of high profile cases, and guidance is due in March.  

The BMA opposes assisted suicide, but a recent survey for GP newspaper found some support for the idea, with two-fifths of GPs calling for it to be legalised.

A recent Dignity in Dying poll found 80% of adults in England and Wales believe a family member or friend who helps someone travel abroad for an assisted suicide should not be prosecuted.

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