Skip to main content

ASSISTED SUICIDE IN WASHINGTON STATE

EDM (Early Day Motion) 86A1: tabled on 18 June 2014

Tabled in the 2014-15 session.

This motion has been signed by 13 Members. It is an amendment to an existing motion.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

This is an amendment to an existing motion

This motion was originally tabled by Fiona Bruce on 12 June 2014. This is amendment number 1.

View details of the original motion

Suggested amendment

leave out from '2014' to end and add '; recognises that it is to be expected that numbers of people using the Act will rise in the years following legalisation as citizens become more aware of their rights under the law, that assisted deaths account for just 0.24 per cent of all deaths in Washington, an extremely low proportion of overall deaths, that people who had assisted deaths gave several reasons for their choice, of which 91 per cent reported concerns about loss of autonomy, 89 per cent about loss of ability to participate in activities that make life enjoyable and 79 per cent about loss of dignity as reasons for choosing assisted dying; further notes that over 80 per cent of those who had an assisted death were in receipt of hospice care; and further notes that a safeguarded law, with upfront checks on diagnosis, prognosis, competences and that a patient is making an informed and settled decision, is preferable to turning a blind eye to dying Britons taking matters into their own hands, including travelling abroad to die.'.

Original motion text

That this House notes the results of the Washington State Death With Dignity Act Report, 2013, published on 10 June 2014 which concludes that the number of deaths through physician-assisted suicide has tripled since the first year of implementation and increased by 43 per cent between 2012 and 2013; expresses grave concern that 61 per cent of those who received lethal drugs in Washington in 2013 gave as a reason for seeking assisted suicide being a burden on family, friends or caregivers; recalls that those who introduced the law in Washington assured the public that it would only apply to terminally ill, mentally competent patients; and reiterates its belief that a corresponding change in UK law would endanger the lives of the most vulnerable in society.