Last updated 15 April 2019
There is an overwhelming trend to reject euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Assisted suicide and euthanasia bills have been defeated in at least 31 jurisdictions since 2015: the UK (2015), Scotland (2015), New South Wales (2017), Tasmania (2017), and 26 US state legislatures.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are illegal worldwide except in 6% of jurisdictions. Of the around 196 countries in the world and 50 US states, only 16 have legalised some form of ‘assisted dying’.
Only four jurisdictions have decriminalised both euthanasia and assisted suicide: The Netherlands (2002), Luxembourg (2009), Canada (2016), and Victoria, Australia (2017, to come into effect in mid 2019).
Two jurisdictions have decriminalised only euthanasia: Belgium (2002) and Colombia (2015).
Assisted suicide is legal in some circumstances in only nine jurisdictions: Switzerland (1942), Germany (2015) and the US states of Oregon (1997), Washington (2008), Vermont (2013), California (2015), Colorado (2016), Washington DC (2016), Hawai’i (2018) and New Jersey (2019).
Margaret Dore from “Choice” is an lllusion argues that the Oregon law, and others based on this model, include euthanasia by allowing another person to be involved in the administration of the lethal dose.
It is suicide when a person intentionally ends their own life without help, for example by accessing and swallowing a drug overdose on their own.
It is assisted suicide when a person intentionally ends their own life with help from at least one other person. The person who dies takes the final action that ends their life. The most common method involves other people making a drug overdose available for the person to swallow.
It is euthanasia when someone else intentionally takes the final action that ends the person’s life. The most common method is by injecting lethal drugs.