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Prosecutors have taken no action over cases of suspected assisted suicide since new guidance was issued

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5668 (Published 06 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5668
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

No prosecutions for assisting suicide have taken place in England and Wales since new guidance was introduced last year, new figures show.

Since the introduction of new guidance in February 2010 around 30 people who were suspected of assisted suicide have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, but no prosecutions have so far followed.

Figures from the Crown Prosecution Service show that 19 cases of suspected assisted suicide were referred from the police in 2009-10, all of which, apart from one case that was withdrawn, resulted in no further action.

In 2010-11 there were 18 cases, of which two are still under review. The police withdrew three, and the remaining …

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