The CPS policy on assisted suicide provides guidance to prosecutors on the public interest factors to take into account in reaching decisions in cases of encouraging or assisting suicide.
It was originally published following a consultation exercise commenced in September 2009, which attracted more than 5,000 responses to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
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Latest Assisted Suicide Figures
Update as of 31 July 2021:
From 1 April 2009 up to 31 July 2021, there have been 171 cases referred to the CPS by the police that have been recorded as assisted suicide. Of these 171 cases, 111 were not proceeded with by the CPS and 32 cases were withdrawn by the police.
There are currently 11 ongoing cases. Three cases of encouraging or assisting suicide have been successfully prosecuted. One case of assisted suicide was charged and acquitted after trial in May 2015 and eight cases were referred onwards for prosecution for homicide or other serious crime.
The CPS collects data to assist in the effective management of its prosecution functions. The CPS does not collect data that constitutes official statistics as defined in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Official statistics relating to sentencing, criminal court proceedings, offenders brought to justice, the courts and the judiciary are maintained by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).