Select Committee on Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by The George House Trust

  We are the largest HIV care and support charity in the North West of England and work with around 1400 people living with and affected by HIV across the region.

  Although the death rate from HIV is less than one third of the level eight years ago because of the high level of effectiveness of the latest combination drug treatments (in 2003 deaths among people with HIV in the North West were 30 as opposed to 98 in 1995), some of our service users do have concerns around their own deaths.

  One concern is around pain control and we therefore welcome the proposed right to pain relief from a palliative care specialist contained in sections 3 and 15 of the draft Bill.

  The Bill's fundamental purpose, to provide a right for terminally ill people who are suffering unbearably to have medical assistance to die if they persistently request this, is one that some of our service users would appreciate. We therefore support this Bill to provide people with this choice, should they so wish.

21 July 2004

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