Three amendments have so far been tabled to the Coroners and Justice Bill by Lords Falconer, Alderdice and Joffe.
Three amendments have so far been tabled to the Coroners and Justice Bill by Lords Falconer (173), Alderdice (174) and Joffe (177) in an attempt to hijack the bill to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia. They are set out in full below.
After Clause 49
LORD FALCONER OF THOROTON
LORD LOW OF DALSTON
LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL
BARONESS JAY OF PADDINGTON
173 Insert the following new Clause-
"Acts not capable of encouraging or assisting suicide
(1) An act by an individual ("D") is not to be treated as capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another adult ("T") if-
(a) the act is done solely or principally for the purpose of enabling or assisting T to travel to a country or territory in which assisted dying is lawful;
(b) prior to the act, two registered medical practitioners, independent of each other, have certified that they are of the opinion in good faith that T is terminally ill and has the capacity to make the declaration under subsection (2); and
(c) prior to the act, T has made a declaration under subsection (2).
(2) A declaration by T is made under this subsection if the declaration-
(a) is made freely in writing and is signed by T (or is otherwise recorded and authenticated if T is incapable of signing it),
(b) states that T-
(i) has read or been informed of the contents of the certificates under
subsection (1)(b), and
(ii) has decided to travel to a country or territory falling within subsection (1)(a) for the purpose of obtaining assistance in dying, and
(c) is witnessed by an independent witness chosen by T.
(3) "Independent witness" means a person who is not-
(a) likely to obtain any benefit from the death of T; or
(b) a close relative or friend of T; or
(c) involved in caring for T.
(4) D is not to be treated as having done an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of T by virtue of being with T when, in a country or territory falling within subsection (1)(a), T takes steps (including steps taken with the assistance of D) to commit suicide by lawful means."
After Clause 51
174 Insert the following new Clause-
"Exceptions to offence of assisting suicide
Notwithstanding sections 49 to 51, no offence shall have been committed if assistance is given to a person to commit suicide who is suffering from a confirmed, incurable and disabling illness which prevents him from carrying through his own wish to bring his life to a close, if the person has received certification from a coroner who has investigated the circumstances, and satisfied himself that it is indeed the free and settled wish of the person that he brings his life to a close."
177* Insert the following new Clause-
"Manslaughter: mercy killing
"It shall be manslaughter, and shall not be murder, for a person ("D") moved by compassion in response to repeated requests by a terminally ill, mentally competent adult ("V") who is suffering unbearably, to assist "V" to end his life."