Author: Sam Murphy
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Right to die: what about other circumstances?

Updated Friday, 29th January 2016
Reasons for individuals chosing to end their life vary - is there one straightforward answer to the question 'do we have the right to die?' or is it more complicated than that?

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If you have been affected by the issues in this programme, you can call Samaritans free from any phone on 116 123 (it will not appear on your phone bill), email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch.  The Motor Neurone Disease Association also provides support to people affected by motor neurone disease in England, Wales and NI - 03457 626262 or visit The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Debate concept with two people discussing topic Research suggests that one person a fortnight travels from the UK to Switzerland to end their lives. Often they will have a terminal illness but it isn’t always the case.

In 2015, 75-year old Gill Pharoah’s trip to Lifecircle was well-publicised. Indeed, she wrote a blog for The Sunday Times about her choice.  In her case, she didn’t have a terminal illness although a bad case of shingles had left her unable to do many of the things she once enjoyed.  Her fears were, as a former palliative care nurse who had seen many people die, that she might experience an undignified death. Having decided that her life was complete, Gill Pharoah travelled to Switzerland in the summer of 2015. In this video her partner Johan Southall defends her decision.

Should assisted suicide be available for people who aren’t terminally ill?

Are there alternatives to assisted suicide that enable people to die with dignity?

Would you support a friend or relative who wanted to travel to Switzerland to end their lives?

What are your thoughts? Have your say in the comments section below:

PLEASE NOTE: This discussion hub is intended for discussing the issues surrounding assisted suicide and the right to die, please do not use it for personal attacks on any individuals – either those featured in the programme or others using the hub. Any comments along this line will be removed.

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