Intended for healthcare professionals


Assisted dying: Hancock asks for more data on suicides of terminally ill people

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 28 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1107
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

MPs and campaigners have welcomed a request from England’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, for more data on suicides by terminally ill people and the possible effect that the ban on assisted dying is having on these cases.

Hancock made the pledge to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life in light of new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS),1 which suggest that one suicide in seven is by someone with experience of cancer or a neurological, heart, or lung disease.

On 27 April, Hancock told the group that he had written to the ONS asking for more data. “Anyone who believes in …

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