UK public's views and perceptions about the legalisation of assisted dying and assisted suicide

Pentaris, Panagiotis and Jacobs, Lucy. 2022. UK public's views and perceptions about the legalisation of assisted dying and assisted suicide. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 86(1), pp. 203-217. ISSN 0030-2228 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Current debates about assisted dying and assisted suicide cover a series of medical, legal, moral, ethical and religious aspects. Yet, public views on the subject remain underexplored and, therefore, not always accounted for in the formation of public policy. This paper reports on empirical data from a cross-sectional study in the UK in 2019, which examines public views about the legalisation of assisted dying and assisted suicide, by means of a self-administered Qualtrics-based survey (self-devised vignettes). A combination of simple random and convenience sampling was used. Participants (n = 297) state their preference that both assisted dying and assisted suicide should be legalised in the UK (n = 70%), while doctors should be legally allowed to support such wishes of patients with an incurable and painful illness from which they will die (n = 62.22%). The paper concludes that public opinion needs to be further accounted for in policymaking and discourses regarding patient autonomy and dignity of care.

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© The Author(s) 2020.


assisted dying; assisted suicide; UK; euthanasia; illness

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work


3 August 2020Published Online
November 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2022 10:05

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2022 13:48

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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