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Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL]


Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL]

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9       

Offences

(1)   

A person commits an offence if he wilfully falsifies or forges a declaration

made or purporting to be made under section 4 with the intent or effect of

causing the patient’s death.

(2)   

A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable, on conviction

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on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

(3)   

A person commits an offence if he makes a statement as a witness to a

declaration made, or purporting to be made, under section 4 that he knows to

be false.

(4)   

A person commits an offence if he wilfully conceals or destroys a declaration.

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(5)   

A physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or member of a health care team who

takes any part in assisting a qualifying patient to die, or who gives an opinion

in respect of such a patient, and who has grounds for believing that he will

benefit financially or in any other way, except for his proper professional fees

or salary, as the result of the death of that patient, contrary to section 8(5)

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commits an offence.

(6)   

A person guilty of an offence under subsections (3) to (5) shall be liable on

conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years

or a fine or both.

(7)   

No provision of this Act shall be taken to affect a person’s liability on

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conviction to criminal penalties for conduct which is inconsistent with the

provisions of this Act.

10      

Insurance

No policy of insurance which has been in force for 12 months as at the date of

the patient’s death shall be invalidated by reason of a physician having assisted

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a qualifying patient to die in accordance with this Act.

11      

Requirements as to documentation in medical records and reporting

requirements

(1)   

The assisting physician shall ensure that the following are documented and

filed in the patient’s medical records—

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(a)   

all evidence, data and records which demonstrate that the qualifying

conditions have been met;

(b)   

any written request by the patient for assistance to end his life;

(c)   

the declaration; and

(d)   

a note by the assisting physician stating that he was satisfied, at the date

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and time of his having assisted the patient to die, that all requirements

under this Act had been met and indicating the steps taken to end the

patient’s life including the description and quantity of the medication

and any means of self-administration prescribed or provided.

(2)   

The assisting physician shall send a copy of each of the documents referred to

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in subsection (1) of this section to the monitoring commission for the region

concerned within seven days of the qualifying patient having been assisted to

die or of an attempt so to assist having been made.

 
 

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL]

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12      

Monitoring commission

(1)   

The Secretary of State shall by order establish such number of monitoring

commissions covering regions forming parts of England and Wales as he may

determine, to review the operation of this Act and to hold and monitor records

maintained pursuant to this Act.

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(2)   

A monitoring commission shall consist of three members appointed by the

Secretary of State, of whom—

(a)   

one shall be a registered medical practitioner;

(b)   

one shall be a solicitor or barrister; and

(c)   

one shall be a lay person having first hand experience in caring for a

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person with a terminal illness.

(3)   

If, in relation to documents sent to a monitoring commission in accordance

with section 11(2), two of its members consider that the qualifying conditions

have not been met, the declaration had not been validly made or had been

revoked, or that the requirements of this Act had not been complied with, the

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monitoring commission shall refer the matter to the district coroner.

(4)   

A monitoring commission to which documents have been sent in accordance

with section 11(2) shall confirm to the assisting physician concerned whether

all the requirements of this Act have been complied with as soon as reasonably

possible after the date of receiving such notification of the patient having been

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assisted to die or of an attempt so to assist having been made.

(5)   

The Secretary of State shall publish an annual statistical report of information

collected under this section.

13      

Interpretation

(1)   

In this Act—

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“assisting physician” means the physician who assists the patient to die;

“attending physician” means the physician who has primary

responsibility for the care of the patient and the treatment of the

patient’s illness;

“consulting physician” means a consultant physician who is qualified by

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specialty to make a professional diagnosis and prognosis regarding the

patient’s illness and who is independent of the attending physician;

“declaration” means a witnessed declaration in writing made under

section 4 by the patient;

“health care team” means a person or persons assisting the attending

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physician or the consulting physician;

“informed decision” means a decision by a patient to request assistance to

die, which is based on an appreciation of the relevant facts and after

having been fully informed in accordance with section 2 of—

(a)   

his medical diagnosis;

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(b)   

his prognosis;

(c)   

the process of being assisted to die; and

(d)   

the alternatives to being assisted to die, including, but not

limited to, palliative care, care in a hospice and the control of

pain;

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Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL]

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“monitoring commission” means a commission set up by the Secretary of

State to monitor the workings of this Act in a region forming a part of

England and Wales;

“nurse” means a nurse practitioner who is registered with the Nursing

and Midwifery Council;

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“patient” means a person who is under the care of a physician;

“physician” means a medical practitioner who is fully registered with the

General Medical Council;

“psychiatrist” means a physician who is a specialist in psychiatry;

“psychologist” means a person who is registered with the British

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Psychological Society as a chartered clinical psychologist;

“qualifying conditions” means the conditions set out in section 2(2) to (4);

“qualifying patient” means a patient who—­

(a)   

has reached the age of majority, and

(b)   

after having been registered for primary health care in England

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and Wales for a period of at least twelve months has made a

declaration that is for the time being in force;

and in respect of whom—

(i)   

all the qualifying conditions have been met, and

(ii)   

the requirements of section 5(3) have been complied

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with;

“signed” in relation to the signature of a patient on a document means

executed—

(a)   

by the patient writing his own signature, or

(b)   

where the patient cannot write legibly either through illiteracy

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or physical infirmity, by the patient leaving his mark, or

(c)   

where the patient through physical infirmity cannot either sign

or make his mark, by a third party signing for the patient at his

direction and so indicating on the document after the signature

and adding his own full name and address;

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“terminal illness” means an illness which in the opinion of both the

attending and the consulting physician—

(a)   

is inevitably progressive,

(b)   

cannot be reversed by treatment (although treatment may be

successful in relieving symptoms temporarily), and

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(c)   

will be likely to result in the patient’s death within six months;

“unbearable suffering” means suffering whether by reason of pain,

distress or otherwise which the patient finds so severe as to be

unacceptable; and

“witness” means a person who signs a declaration by way of attestation.

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(2)   

Grammatical variations of words and expressions to which definitions are

assigned in this section shall be construed in accordance with the definitions.

14      

Power to make orders and regulations

(1)   

The Secretary of State may at any time by order make such supplementary,

incidental, consequential or transitional provision as appears to him to be

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necessary or expedient for the general or particular purposes of this Act or in

consequence of any of its provisions or for giving full effect to it.

(2)   

The Secretary of State may make regulations under this Act—

 
 

Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL]

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(a)   

determining classes of persons who may or may not witness a

declaration;

(b)   

regulating the custody of records and the collection of information

regarding the operation of this Act;

(c)   

making provision about appointments to and the operation of the

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monitoring commissions; and

(d)   

providing a code of practice for the guidance of physicians, members of

health care teams and other persons acting in accordance with the

provisions of this Act.

(3)   

The power to make orders and regulations under this Act is exercisable by

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statutory instrument and includes power to make different provision for

different cases.

(4)   

A statutory instrument containing regulations made under section 4(1) is

subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of

Parliament and no other statutory instrument may be made under this Act

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unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a

resolution of, each House of Parliament.

15      

Amendment of the Suicide Act 1961

Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 (c. 60) is amended by inserting after subsection

(3)—­

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“(3A)   

Subsection (1) does not apply where a person assists another person to

die, or where a person helps another person to assist a third person to

die, or where a person is present when another person ends his own life

or attempts to do so, in accordance with sections 1 and 8 of the Assisted

Dying for the Terminally Ill Act 2005.”

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16      

Short title and extent

(1)   

This Act may be cited as the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Act 2005.

(2)   

This Act does not extend to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

 
 

 
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Revised 10 November 2005