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UK Report: Exporting Compassion

New research report by the Assisted Dying Coalition has revealed the inadequacy and disparity of the broken UK assisted dying laws. The new research shows where UK residents have come from before having an assisted death at Dignitas, the assisted dying centre in Switzerland.

The report (sourcing data from Dignitas) shows that, on average, there is a 9% year increase in assisted deaths of UK citizens in Switzerland between 2003 and 2023. Assisted deaths of UK residents at Dignitas peaked in 2016 with 47 assistances, closely followed by 2019 with 42. There were 55% more assisted deaths in 2019 compared to 2009 and the trend of assisted death increasing may have continued if COVID-19 travel restrictions had not made travelling for an assisted death considerably more difficult.

Source: 2024-03-14-ADC_dignitas_single.pdf (

The report sought data from three Swiss assisted dying organizations to identify the diagnoses of those UK residents seeking assisted death. By far the largest group were neurological patients followed by cancer.

Source: 2024-03-14-ADC_dignitas_single.pdf (

A major inhibitor to seeking assisted dying in Switzerland is the cost – up to GBP 15,000 (including transport, accommodation, expenses and assessments), though some centres can offer reduced or even waive fees entirely. Or course, for those already immobilised due to their illness the trip becomes almost impossible. This may be the reason why many patients seek to travel before receiving the diagnosis that they may die within six months.

Indeed, the report concludes that though every law that has been proposed in the UK so far has been based on the ‘Oregon Model’, (the legislation introduced by the US state of Oregon in 1997) more than half the patients going to Switzerland would not be eligible for assisted dying as they were not expected to die within six months.
For the full report, read here: 2024-03-14-ADC_dignitas_single.pdf (