Assisted dying is when a terminally ill, mentally competent adult, making the choice of their own free will and after meeting strict legal safeguards, takes prescribed medication which will end their life. Assisted dying is currently illegal in the UK.

We believe the current law is not working because it forces some dying people to suffer against their wishes. With our members and supporters we are campaigning for the law change to allow assisted dying – a campaign with overwhelming public support.

We support Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill which is currently being debated in the House of Lords.

An assisted dying law has worked in Oregon USA since 1997. There have been no cases of abuse and no calls to extend the law beyond terminally ill, mentally competent adults.


Assisted dying is not the same as assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia or euthanasia

HPAD only advocates assisted dying – not assisted suicide, voluntary euthanasia or euthanasia.

  • Assisted dying only applies to terminally ill, mentally competent adults and requires the dying patient, after meeting strict legal safeguards, to self administer life-ending medication. Assisted dying is legalised and regulated in the US States of Oregon and Washington
  • Assisted suicide allows assistance to die to chronically ill and disabled people who are not dying. Assisted suicide is permitted in Switzerland
  • Voluntary euthanasia allows a doctor to administer life ending medication directly to the patient. Voluntary euthanasia is permitted in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • Euthanasia is a term often used to describe life ending medication being administered by a third party, perhaps without the consent of the patient.


The current law is not working

We believe the law is not working and propose new assisted dying legislation similar to that in place in Oregon and Washington that would give terminally ill adults choice and control over the timing and manner of their death.

You can read more about how people are affected by the failing of our current law in Dignity in Dying’s personal stories section.


How you can help

You can help to change the law on assisted dying by adding you voice to the campaign – Join HPAD now.