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Terminally ill man challenges law in England

A terminally ill man says he hopes to end “hopeless futures” by attempting to change the law on assisted dying. Phil Newby, who has Motor Neurone Disease (MND), has raised more than £40,000 to challenge England’s law on assisted dying. His legal bid would take a different approach to previous UK cases by allowing judges to cross-examine witnesses and evidence.

Opponents say the current law protects “people in a vulnerable position”. Assisted dying is legal in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland and some parts of the US, and allows people to help those with terminal illnesses die. 

The Suicide Act 1961 makes it illegal to encourage or assist a death in England and Wales, and anyone deemed to have provided assistance can serve up to 14 years in prison.