Following the news that a professional horse rider who suffered a life-changing spinal injury has apparently taken their life through assisted dying, Solicitor Rubin Italia comments on calls to reform assisted dying lawyers in the UK.

Rubin’s comments were published in Solicitors Journal, 27 March 2024, and can be found here.

“Considering the recent calls to overhaul assisted dying legislation in England, the case of Caroline March raises several important legal issues including the period between an incident and the choice to end one’s life.

“The period of time in this particular case is relatively short, considering there would have been periods of medical intervention. If assisted dying legislation is introduced into the UK, therefore, it is important that safeguards are introduced to ensure that decisions which are irreversible are not made on impulse and people have an opportunity to consider all their options.

“This case differs from a number of recently reported cases as, while Ms March’s quality of life has changed dramatically since her incident, she was not diagnosed with a terminal illness. Considering that the majority of jurisdictions that have legalised assisted dying have strict safeguards in cases involving individuals with non-terminal illnesses, this raises questions as to how the law would differentiate between individuals in such circumstances.

“It is therefore crucial that, while the polls may endorse it, any change to law is carefully considered and rigorously reviewed to ensure it protects vulnerable individuals.”

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