Students Staff

17 July 2014

Essex lawyer says assisted dying bill “doesn’t go far enough”

Speaking in advance of tomorrow’s debate of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, Professor Sabine Michalowski of the University of Essex has said it “doesn’t go far enough.”

Ahead of the historic debate in the House of Lords, Professor Michalowski said that although those with terminal illnesses could receive help to die under the proposed legislation, others like Tony Nicklinson - who died last year after a stroke left him with locked-in syndrome - who have been “condemned to terrible suffering” would remain unable to seek assistance to end their lives.

Professor Michalowski, from Essex’s School of Law and Human Rights Centre, has said legislation similar to that used in the Netherlands might provide a more compassionate, less limited solution.

She welcomed comments made in the last week, in support of the Bill, by religious leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey. She stated however that despite being moved by the plight of Tony Nicklinson, many people “at the same time want to hold on to the limitation of assisted dying to terminally ill patients which is a bit contradictory” because it would not have applied to him.

Addressing the issue of abuse, Professor Michalowski argued that legal frameworks can ensure safeguards function well and that “both assisted suicide and even euthanasia happen in this country, just at the moment there are no safeguards in place.”

Listen to Professor Michalowski’s interview in full.


More information

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Michalowski, please contact the University of Essex Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or email:

...more news releases