Assisted dying for the terminally-ill could be made legal ‘within two years’

Attempts to legalise assisted dying have failed previously, but there are hopes things will change soon (file photo) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Assisted dying is set to be legalised in the UK within the next two years.

MPs now believe they will soon have the numbers to change the law so the terminally ill can choose the timing and manner of their deaths.

Insiders say Boris Johnson is sympathetic to the change unlike former PMs David Cameron and Theresa May who were opposed.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also understood to be in favour but the Ministry of Justice is still putting obstacles in the way.

Last week Justice minister Alex Chalk told assisted dying campaigner and former Cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell: “We have no plans to review the law on assisted suicide.”

Support for assisted dying being legalised is growing (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images/Westend61)

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He said that any change would be a matter for MPs and their consciences.

That means a backbencher will have to use a Private Members Bill to get the legal change through Parliament.

Mr Mitchell said: “ I have changed my mind on this issue after seeing the misery endured at the end of their lives by terminally ill constituents .

“The Commons is moving towards a tightly drawn change in the law with strong safeguards built in."

Tory Party members back assisted dying by three to one and surveys show public approval is growing.

Allowing others to help the terminally ill take their own lives was twice rejected by Parliament in 2015.

Since then assisted dying has been legalised in Canada, four US states and in Australia’s Victoria.

Pressure group Dignity in Dying says mentally competent adults should be able to ask doctors to prescribe life-ending medication.

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Boss Sarah Wootton said: “If the Ministry of Justice continues to drag its feet then another department or committee must take up the mantle.

“British families are suffering as a result of this country’s inaction.”

One Briton travels to Switzerland every eight days to end their lives there.