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Peers back proposal that a judge would need to approve cases of assisted dying

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 10 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6728
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

The House of Lords has backed a proposal requiring the approval of a High Court judge before a doctor can help a terminally ill patient to die, in the event that the Assisted Dying Bill becomes law in the United Kingdom.

Peers voted at the committee stage to accept amendments tabled by the independent peer David Pannick that would require a judge to be satisfied that a person asking for assisted suicide had made a “voluntary, clear, settled, and informed” decision to die.

The bill, based on the assisted suicide laws in the US state of Oregon and put forward as a private member’s bill by the …

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