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Christian group: Investigate claims some doctors are breaking assisted dying laws

Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) has expressed concern legislation which gives medical staff a mandate to sustain life is being undermined.

The organisation has spoken out as pro-assisted dying group, Dignity in Dying, says around 1,000 terminally ill people in the UK may be receiving help each year to end their own lives.


Speaking with Premier, CARE spokesperson James Mildred said: "If it turns out that there are thousands of doctors who are breaking the law then, clearly, that needs to be investigated.

"If you have a law, that law should be upheld. We should not simply be standing back and turning a blind eye if people are breaking the law."

A spokesperson from Dignity in Dying told Premier: "Based on these figures, it's clear that an assisted dying law would not radically alter medical practice, but it would instead provide much-needed transparency and safeguards to a something that is already happening behind closed doors, which would be better and safer for patients and doctors."

An Assisted Dying Bill was defeated by the House of Commons in September last year by 330 votes to 118.

PA Wire

Under current legislation, a doctor helping a patient end their own life in the UK could face up to 14 years in prison.

Commenting how many doctors might be helping terminally ill patients commit suicdie, Dignity is Dying said: "This is a difficult area to study accurately as, given the legal situation, doctors may have concerns about being completely open with researchers."

It's understood at least 166 British people travelled to Switzerland - where euthanasia is legal - to end their own lives between December 1998 and December 2004.

CARE spokesperson, James Mildred added:

"What thousands of doctors are apparently doing in helping patients to die is not allowed.

"It completely breaks the whole balance that we have struck in the current law that places the responsibility on doctors to sustain and to help people to live.

You can listen to James Mildred from CARE speaking with Premier's Alex Williams by clicking here.

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