Anscombe Bioethics Centre publishes resources on assisted suicide

The front page of The Sun telling the story of Bob Cole, 68, who will commit suicide at the Dignitas euthanasia clinic in Switzerland.

As the UK Parliament again prepares to debate an assisted suicide law, media stories are thick with claims and counter-claims about the effect of such a law — based on experience in those countries where it is legal.

The problem is that when campaigners appeal to evidence, they often do so selectively or in broad terms, and it is not always easy to check their sources. This is a debate where emotion and hyperbole are commonplace.

Just what are the lessons from other countries? The Anscombe Bioethics Centre has produced a guide to the evidence on assisted suicide and euthanasia that links directly to official data from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the states of Oregon and Washington.

David Albert Jones

David Albert Jonesregon and Washington.  It also includes links to the UK parliamentary reports and to empirical research published in journals.

The Guide — on the web here, or as a PDF here — will help people assess the potential impact of proposed legislation such as the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill sponsored by Rob Marris MP which is due to be debated on 11 September 2015. The Bill would “enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life”.

Anscombe’s director, Professor David Albert Jones, shows that legalizing physician assisted suicide would not address the needs of the dying but would threaten people with disabilities and those who are suicidal. Permitting healthcare professionals to ‘encourage or assist’ suicide would undermine key principles of law, medical ethics and palliative care.

The Centre has also produced a handy two-page briefing, ‘Eight Reasons not to legalize Physician Assisted Suicide’ (PDF here).

About catholicvoicesmedia

This blog offers comments on news stories as they relate to the Catholic Church. For more information on Catholic Voices visit
This entry was posted in assisted suicide. Bookmark the permalink.