"Ending death, not ending life": Understanding Positive Attitudes toward Assisted Dying in the UK

Project report


Mallion, J. and Murphy, L. (2023). "Ending death, not ending life": Understanding Positive Attitudes toward Assisted Dying in the UK. London South Bank University. https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.933qw
AuthorsMallion, J. and Murphy, L.
TypeProject report
Abstract

Over 200 million people worldwide have access to a form of assisted dying, with the number of countries legalising assisted dying growing. Yet, in the UK, assisted dying is not available and those that help a loved one to die are at risk of prosecution. This research explored why people hold positive attitudes toward assisted dying. Eighteen individuals who are terminally ill, family members of those who experienced a bad death, and family members who helped take a loved one abroad for an assisted death
were interviewed. Findings suggest that assisted dying allows quality of life, enabling people to fulfil their basic human needs of Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness at the end of life. Furthermore, feeling like a burden was not the driving factor behind the pursuit of an assisted death, instead pain, suffering, loss of diginity and autonomy were the most important reasons. Importantly, participants indicated that assisted dying legislation will enable more safeguards than current unregulated processes, with some terminally ill individuals attempting to end their suffering alone or travelling abroad to access an assisted death. Overall, findings are supportive of a law change in favour of assisted dying in the UK.

KeywordsAssisted dying; Burden; Self determination; Quality of life; Terminal illness; End of life
Year2023
PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.933qw
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Assisted Dying Report (Mallion & Murphy, 2023)
File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
Print13 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Feb 2023
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