Shocking suicide figures released as campaigners call for assisted dying laws for Brits

The Late Formula 1 boss Max Mosley who took his own life with a firearm Credit: @ottawasuncom, Twitter

Shocking suicide figures released as campaigners call for assisted dying laws for Brits with severe health conditions.

Severely ill and dying Brits are more than twice as likely to end their own life, official data has revealed.

People with severe and potentially terminal health conditions are more than twice as likely to take their own lives than the general population, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published on Wednesday, April 20, shows. 

The ONS examined suicide rates among people with a range of health conditions with poor prognoses and found that those with low survival cancers are at 2.4 times higher risk of suicide than those without, those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also at 2.4 times higher risk and those with chronic ischemic heart conditions are at nearly 2 times higher risk. 

The data comes after several suicides and suicide pacts involving terminally ill Brits have come to light, with Dignity in Dying research estimating that up to 650 terminally ill people are taking their own lives every year in the UK in lieu of the safe, legal choice of assisted dying.

The ONS data was commissioned last April by the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life in order to inform the assisted dying debate. 

Several suicides and suicide pacts involving terminally ill people have come to light in recent weeks, including former Formula 1 boss Max Mosley, who took his own life using a firearm dying of cancer; Mr Hunter, a British expat who is facing a murder charge in Cyprus after helping his terminally ill wife to die and surviving an attempt to end his life alongside her; and Dr Christopher Woollard, a professor with terminal cancer who stole and crashed a plane to end his life; 

A Private Member’s Bill on Assisted Dying brought by Dignity in Dying Chair Baroness Meacher passed its Second Reading unopposed in the House of Lords in October, though it is unlikely to be allotted time for Committee Stage before all non-government bills automatically fall at the State Opening of Parliament next month. 

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Written by

Fergal MacErlean

Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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