Intended for healthcare professionals


MPs back guidance on assisted suicide in first Commons debate for 40 years

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 29 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2424
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The House of Commons has thrown its overwhelming support behind guidelines on assisted suicide from the director of public prosecutions, in the first full debate on assisted dying to take place on the floor of the UK’s elected chamber since 1970.

MPs taking part in the debate, which was allowed by the Commons backbench business committee, also backed the further development of specialist palliative care and hospice provision. But an amendment calling for the director of public prosecutions’ guidelines to be put on a statutory footing was withdrawn after it was widely opposed, with some MPs characterising …

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