Prospective Legal Immunity and Assistance With Dying : Submission to the Commission on Assisted Dying

Authors: Brownsword, R., Lewis, P. and Richardson, G.

Journal: King's Law Journal

Volume: 23

Issue: 2

Pages: 181-193

DOI: 10.5235/KLJ.23.2.181


In this paper, our principal purpose is to elaborate and assess the case for introducing a regime of prospective legal immunity for a person, A, who assists with the suicide of another, B, where A acts within the terms of an appropriate covering licence (or authorisation). The attraction of such a regime is twofold: first, it promises to clarify the legal position of A before A undertakes acts of assistance to B; and, secondly, it promises to improve whatever assessments we can make as to B's potential vulnerability (in relation to A or others). Notwithstanding the attractions of such a regime, we do not support a scheme that is entirely prospective. The way forward, we believe, involves a judicious mix of prospective and retrospective (reporting and reviewing) elements.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Roger Brownsword