CPS Policy on assisted suicide provides guidance to prosecutors on assessing the evidential and public interest stages in the Code for Crown Prosecutors when reaching decisions in cases of encouraging or assisting suicide.
The Policy promotes consistency of decision making and is very clear about the factors which are to be considered both for and against prosecution. It sets out clear guidance about the importance of establishing whether the decision of the person who wants to commit suicide is voluntary, clear, settled, and informed, and whether the decision has been made without any pressure from the suspect.
The CPS publishes information collated from manual records on cases relating to Assisted Suicide. From 1 April 2009 up to 31 January 2021, there have been 167 cases referred to the CPS by the police that have been recorded as assisted suicide. Of these 167 cases:
eight cases were referred onwards for prosecution for homicide or other serious crime.
Of the 110 cases not proceeded with by the CPS, manual records indicate:
A further six cases are recorded with more than one suspect in the same case; these resulted in a mixed outcome where the evidential stage was not met for some suspects and the public interest test was not met for the others.
CPS manual records do not capture specific case circumstances, including those relating to persons with a terminal illness.
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.