Select Committee on Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill First Report


A House of Lords Select Committee has been appointed to consider and report on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill. The Members of the Committee are shown at Appendix 1. The purpose of this letter is to invite organisations with a known or presumed interest in the Bill to submit written evidence to the Committee. Submissions should follow the guidance given below and should reach the Committee as soon as possible, and in any case not later than Friday 3 September 2004.

A copy of the Bill may be found at Annex 2. The full text of the Bill is also available on the internet at:

or from The Stationery Office: tel. 08457 023474. The reference is HL Bill 17, Session 2003-04.

The Bill is a Private Member's Bill, which was introduced into the House earlier this year and had its Second Reading on 10 March 2004. Its main purpose is to enable, in specified circumstances, a terminally ill competent adult to request medical assistance to die.

The Select Committee's terms of reference are the Bill itself. When the Committee produces its report, it will be expected to recommend whether the Bill should proceed and, if so, whether or not in an amended form (The Committee has the power to amend the Bill).

Those wishing to submit written evidence should follow the guidance given below:

Written evidence should be submitted to the Committee no later than Friday 3 September 2004.

Written evidence should contain a brief introduction to the persons or organisations submitting it.

Submissions should take the form of a memorandum, which should have numbered paragraphs and should not exceed 3000 words in length. Unless submissions are very short, they should be accompanied by a summary.

Those submitting evidence on behalf of organisations are encouraged to indicate whether procedures exist for testing the opinion of members and, if so, whether such procedures have been invoked recently.

Evidence should, if possible, be submitted, in MS Word or rich text format, by e-mail to A single hard copy (single-sided, unbound) should also be sent to Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [HL], Committee Office, House of Lords SW1A 0PW. If you would find it difficult to submit evidence in this way, please contact the Committee staff at the addresses shown below to discuss alternatives.

Once written evidence has been submitted it becomes the property of the Committee.

Those who have submitted written evidence to the Committee are welcome to publish their evidence themselves (for example, by placing it on their own websites), provided that it is not published until after the Committee has acknowledged receipt of the evidence and that it is made clear that the document was prepared as evidence to the Committee.

Written submissions from those invited to give oral evidence will be available at the relevant hearing. Written evidence will, wherever possible, be posted on the Committee's webpages, and then either published by the Committee with its final Report or placed in the public domain when that Report is published.

Those considering submitting information that they would wish the Committee to treat as confidential should consult the Committee staff in advance, initially by sending an e-mail to the address given at the end of this letter.

In addition to this call for formal evidence, individuals may make their views on the Bill known by sending a short letter or email to the address given at the end of this letter. Such letters or emails should state the sender's name and address and his or her reasons (in brief) for either supporting or opposing the Bill. Alternatively, instead of setting out their reasons, they may wish simply to associate themselves with the views of one or another organisation.

Enquiries in connection with the submission of written evidence and short letters or emails from individuals should be addressed to:

Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill

Committee Office

House of Lords

London SW1A 0PW


Tel. 020-7219-4568


The members of the Committee are as follows:

Earl of Arran

Lord Carlile of Berriew

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Baroness Hayman

Baroness Jay of Paddington

Lord Joffe

Lord McColl of Dulwich

Lord Mackay of Clashfern (Chairman)

Lord Patel

Bishop of St Albans

Lord Taverne

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood

Lord Turnberg

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