Politics worldwide


21 January 2015 / 4 June 2015 / 2 September 2015

Californian State Senators Lois Wolk, Bill Monning and others, backed by Brittany Maynard’ family, introduced the ‘End of Life Option Act: modelled after the 1997 Oregon Dying with Dignity Act, the Bill would give a terminally ill, mentally competent adult resident in California, the right to ask and receive from his or her physician a prescription for a lethal drug to end his or her suffering.

Senate Bill SB-128 End of Life (Link to California Legislative Information)

On 4 June 2015, the Californian Senate passed the End of Life Option Act (SB 128) by 23 to 14 votes. The Bill thus moves on to the vote in the Assembly (Link)

On 2 September 2015, the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee of the California Assembly approved of the California End of Life Option Act by 10 : 3 votes. In a next step, the bill will be voted on by both houses of the California legislature, possibly by 11 September 2015.

18. July 2014

The British Upper Chamber, the House of Lords, held an extensive debate on the Assisted Dying Bill by Lord Falconer. In this Second Reading with a record 126 speakers, the Bill was supported by 64 against 59 with 3 neutral and therefore it will move on to Committee Stage.

Minutes of the debate (PDF)

23 January 2012 / 1 May 2012

In Scotland, parliament member Margo MacDonald lodged a proposal for a Bill, the „Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bil", to enable a competent adult with a terminal illness or condition to request assistance to end their own life, and to decriminalise certain actions taken by others to provide such assistance.

A consultation was held until 30 April 2012.

The proposed Bill includes elements of the practice of accompanied suicides in Switzerland as well as of the „Death with Dignity Act” of the US-State of Oregon.

Website of the Scottish Parliament with consultation document (Link)

Response/submission of DIGNITAS to the consultation (PDF)

22 March 2012

In Canada, the Quebec National Assembly’s delivered its long-awaited report “Mourir dans la dignité” (“Dying with Dignity”). The Quebec report recommends that doctors should be permitted to perform euthanasia or “medical aid in dying” in exceptional circumstances, yet it is against assisted suicide.

Details on the Report on the website of the Quebec National Assembly (Link)

The report was presented as a progressive and important “first” provincial initiative in Canada, however, both the report and commentators on it appeared to forget that more than 20 years ago a British Columbia (BC) Royal Commission approved of what it believed was widespread support for the right to die with dignity: The 1991 report, “Closer to Home”, was the work of a BC Royal Commission on Health Care and Costs. Under the heading of “Requested Mercy Killing” the Commission recommended that the BC government ask the federal Canadian government to amend the Criminal Code s.241(b) so that physicians could prescribe, and health care workers could administer, pain relief medication in a fatal dose.

5 May 2011 / 3 October 2011 / 5 January 2012

In England, Lord Falconer launched The Commission on Assisted Dying which - amongst other aims -  shall investigate the circumstances under which it should be possible for people to be assisted to die. See their website www.commissiononassisteddying.co.uk. In answer to the Commission's Call for evidence, DIGNITAS handed in a submission:

Submission of DIGNITAS to the Commission on Assisted Dying (PDF)

The submission by DIGNITAS is now online, on the website of the Commission, (No. 1012, Evidence from Dignitas), amongst many other submissions.

Upon the visit of two delegates of the Commission on Assisted Dying, DIGNITAS provided additional notes to answer specific questions of the Commissioneers. Available here (PDF)

Final Report of the Commission on Assisted Dying (Link)

January - December 2010

Member of the Scottish Parliament Margo MacDonald introduced the End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill  to permit assistance to be given to persons who wish their lives to be ended; and for connected purposes.

Details of the Bill on the website of The Scottish Parliament

12 May 2006

Second reading of the “Assisted dying for the terminally ill bill” proposed by Lord Joffe in view of introducing a British law on assistance in dying.

Minutes of the reading in the House of Lords (PDF)

10 October 2005

The British Upper Chamber, the House of Lords, held an extensive debate on the report by the Select Committee which examined a bill introduced by Lord Joffe, a law on assistance in dying for terminally ill patients, the “Assisted dying for the terminally ill bill”

Complete minutes of the debate (PDF)

22 August 2005

Debate in the Zürich Cantonal Council: the Zürich Parliament clearly disapproves of a prohibition of assistance in dying.

Minutes of the Zürich Cantonal Council, pages 8393 - 8414 (PDF, in German)



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Support for the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill

Support for the Assisted Dying Bill, England


Response by DIGNITAS
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