Euthanasia and assisted suicide
Euthanasia is the act of deliberately ending a person's life to relieve suffering.
For example,adoctor who gives a patient with terminal Predictive genetic test for cancer risk genes an overdose of muscle relaxants to end their life would be considered to have carried out euthanasia.
Assisted suicide is the act of deliberately assisting or encouraging another person to kill themselves.
If a relative of a person with a terminal illness wereto obtain powerful sedatives, knowing that the person intended to take an overdose of sedatives to kill themselves, theymay be considered tobe assisting suicide.
Both active euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal under English law.
Depending on the circumstances, euthanasia is regarded as either manslaughter or murder and is punishable bylaw, with a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment.
Assisted suicide is illegal under the terms of the Suicide Act (1961) and is punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment. Attempting tokill yourselfis not a criminal actin itself.
Euthanasia can be classified in different ways, including:
Euthanasia can also be classified as:
Depending on the circumstances, voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia could be regarded as either voluntary manslaughter (where someone kills another person, but circumstances can partly justify their actions) or murder.
Involuntary euthanasia is almost always regarded as murder.
There are arguments used by both supporters and opponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide. This means that the healthcare professionals treating you cannot perform certain procedures or treatments against your wishes.
Euthanasia is the act of deliberately ending a person's life to relieve suffering. Assisted suicide is deliberately assisting or encouraging a person to kill themselves.
There are arguments both for and against euthanasia and assisted suicide, including religious and ethical arguments. These are outlined here.
If you are approaching the end of life, you have a right to good palliative care to control pain and other symptoms, as well as psychological, social and spiritual support.