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End the ban on assisted suicide, report will urge the government

Lord Falconerby Toby Helm, Guardian

Commission will say helping terminally ill people to commit suicide should be made legal under strict new safeguards

Helping terminally ill people to commit suicide should be made legal under strict new safeguards, a major independent report is expected to recommend this week.

The eagerly awaited advice from the Commission on Assisted Dying, chaired by Lord Falconer, a former lord chancellor, is likely to criticise the current legal framework and suggest that, in some cases, those who encourage or assist another to die should no longer be threatened with prosecution.

The report is expected to recommend that assisted dying be legalised only for a very limited category of terminally ill patients and under procedures that are rigorously monitored. It is likely to suggest tight controls on how and when lethal medicines are prescribed for use in assisted suicide. Procedures to ensure that those involved are made fully aware of all the palliative and social care available to them are also likely to be spelt out.

The report is certain to reignite the fierce debate between advocates and opponents of euthanasia.

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