Lord Joffe speaks on assisted dying: have your say

Please note this lecture has now sold out: it will be available as a podcast

The University of Bath has run an online poll to give people the chance to have their say on assisted dying, ahead of a free public lecture by pro-legalisation campaigner Lord Joel Joffe CBE on Tuesday 27 October.

The opinion poll 

The poll was designed to help generate interest in Lord Joffe's public lecture at the University, and was not intended as a scientific survey. The poll has received over 4,000 votes and over 150 comments on the accompanying message board:

  • 87 per cent voted against the legalisation of assisted dying  for the terminally ill Poll on assisted dying
  • 12 per cent voted in favour 
  • 1 per cent voted 'don't know' 

Software shows that a large number of votes were cast outside the UK and it is understood that a poll alert was issued globally by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition urging people to vote against legalisation. 

Please note that the votes cast and comments posted are not reflecting the views of the University of Bath.

The lecture

In 2006 Lord Joffe's controversial draft bill on assisted dying for the terminally ill was defeated in the House of Lords. The bill set out to give doctors the right to prescribe drugs that a terminally ill patient in severe pain could use to end their own life.

Assisted dying remains illegal under the Suicide Act but the issue is back on the agenda with the Director of Public Prosecution's recently published interim policy.

Lord Joffe believes that there is an 'urgent need' to change the law on assisted dying and will argue in his lecture, entitled Assisted dying: rights, choices and palliative care, that assisted dying and palliative care are essential and complementary aspects of care for people suffering from painful incurable diseases.

Lord Joffe said: "I support assisted dying because I care about suffering and want the law changed so that those who presently suffer terrible deaths will in future have the option to end their lives at a time and in a manner of their choosing."

Lord Joffe is an honorary graduate of the University. His distinguished record as a human rights lawyer includes the defence of Nelson Mandela and his ANC colleagues against the death penalty in 1963.

The lecture launches a new series of open events at the University that will address current major global issues and challenges. The new series offers the opportunity for the public, and the University community, to hear from inspiring people who are engaged with topics that resonate with key areas of the University's research and learning.

The lecture will take place on Tuesday 27 October at 6.15pm in 8 West 3.22 at the Claverton campus. For a free ticket please email Sheila Willmott or call 01225 386631.

Who would you invite as a speaker?

University staff and students are invited to suggest names for future speakers in the series:

  • Who would you most like to hear from and why?
  • How does their work resonate with your research or with public interest?

Please make suggestions by emailing Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research.

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