Select Page

Overall suicide numbers increase when assisted suicide and euthanasia made legal, research suggests

A review of data from countries that have made euthanasia and assisted suicide legal suggests that overall suicide numbers have increased in countries following the introduction of euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS). 

The Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford examined data from states in the US and countries in Europe that have made euthanasia and assisted suicide legal, and have found that following the practice being made legal, there have been significant increases, not only in the number of people who end their lives through assisted suicide and euthanasia, but also increases in instances of non-assisted suicide.

Through examining assisted suicide and non-assisted suicide in the US, Professor Jones found “legalising PAS [physician assisted suicide] was associated with a 6.3% increase in total suicides (including assisted suicides). This effect was larger in the individuals older than 65 years (14.5%)”.

No evidence that legalising assisted suicide has a beneficial effect on suicide prevention

Professor David Albert Jones, who conducted the research, concluded “There is no evidence that legalisation of EAS [euthanasia and assisted suicide] would have a beneficial effect on suicide prevention. There is robust evidence, taken from different jurisdictions and using a variety of statistical methods, that the total number of self-initiated deaths rises significantly where EAS is legally available, and strong evidence that this has a greater impact on older women”.

“There is some evidence, less robust but by some measures statistically significant, that deaths by non-assisted suicide also increase. There is no evidence of a reduction in non-assisted suicide”.

Professor Jones also argued that euthanasia and assisted suicide contradicted the principle that every suicide is a tragedy saying “Even where it is legal EAS should not be advertised or encouraged. Above all, it should not be stated or implied that there is shame attached to living with disability or illness or in receiving help and support. It must never be implied that human dignity can only be recovered by a self-initiated death”.

One in five cite loneliness as a reason to want to die

In 2021, 10,064 people ended their lives by assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada, an increase of over 32% from the previous year, accounting for 3.3% of all deaths in Canada.

According to the latest report on Medical Assistance in Dying from Health Canada, 17.3% of people also cited “isolation or loneliness” as a reason for wanting to die. In 35.7% of cases, patients believed that they were a “burden on family, friends or caregivers”.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “This new research has found that overall suicide numbers have increased  in countries following the introduction of euthanasia and assisted suicide.. This is presumably because legalising these practices helps create a culture in which death is seen as a solution to the hardships of life. But death is never a medical treatment. Instead, we should do all we can to alleviate those hardships and assist people to live their lives, not to end their lives”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.