To mark the tenth anniversary of Debbie Purdy’s landmark assisted dying case, which resulted in the current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) guidelines on the Assisted Suicide law, My Death, My Decision has published an open letter to the incoming Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, calling for a review into the working of the Assisted Suicide law in England and Wales. The Guardian published the letter on the anniversary date of 30th July. The call follows a recent parliamentary debate on the issue in which MPs made a similar call.
The full text of the letter is available here. The list of signatories is diverse and impressive, indicating the range of support MDMD has for its position and its growing influence. In addition to MDMD Chair Trevor Moore, the signatories include:
Sir Iain Chalmers – Founder of the Cochrane Collaboration and acting coordinator of the James Lind Initiative
Dr Phil Hammond – Physician, Broadcaster, Comedian and Commentator
Dr Michael Irwin – Former Medical Director United Nations
Dr Henry Marsh – Physician and Author
Professor David Nutt – President of the European Brain Council
Professor Wendy Savage – General Medical Council and British Medical Association’s Ethics Committee Member
other members of MDMD’s Medical Group.
Dr Julian Baggini – Philosopher, Journalist, and co-founder of the Philosophers’ Magazine
Professor A.C Grayling – Philosopher, Journalist, and founder of the New College of Humanities
Rev’d Canon Rosie Harper – Canon of Christ Church, Vicar of Great Missenden, Chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham and member of the General Synod.
Rev’d Scott McKenna – Minister Mayfield Salisbury Church
Professor Emily Jackson – UK Legal Scholar
Virginia Ironside – Journalist
Polly Toynbee – Journalist and Author
Andi Reiss – Independent film maker who made the documentary ‘Endgame‘.
Andrew Copson – Chief Executive Humanists UK (Humanists UK is MDMD’s Assisted Dying Coalition Partner Organisation in England and Wales)
Paul Lamb – Currently bringing an Assisted Dying Court case.
Phil Newby – Currently bringing an Assisted Dying Court case.
Jane and Lauren Nicklinson – Assisted Dying Campaigners (Widow and Daughter of Tony Nicklinson who brought an Assisted Dying Court Case)
Omar Puente – Assisted Dying Campaigner (Widower of Debbie Purdy)
MDMD supporters who have accompanied a relative to Switzerland for a medically assisted death that would not be permissible under a law limited to those with a life expectancy of 6 months or less, (as is the case in Oregon and which was rejected by the UK parliament in September 2015).
Other MDMD Patrons not included above:
Miriam Margolyes – Actor
Lord Martin Rees – Cross-bencher House of Lords
MDMD are most grateful to all signatories in coming together to support this call.