Access to medical records for assisted death: clarifying the guidance
Noel Conway recently lost his appeal at the High Court calling for a judicial review into the blanket ban on assisted dying and stated his intention to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Regardless of outcome, uncertainty remains surrounding the practice of access to medical records when a patient seeks an assisted death abroad.1 The numbers of British citizens dying in Switzerland is increasing year on year. Last year 47 British citizens died at Dignitas alone and their UK-based membership rose to 1139 people.2 However, Dignitas is only one of three Swiss organisations that accept British citizens and so the true incidence remains unknown. As part of the request for assistance to die in Switzerland a patient must provide medical verification of their condition. It is this that patients approach their doctors for in the UK to provide in the form of a written report or a copy of their medical records.