§ Lord Alton of Liverpool
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they continue to support the British Medical Association's opposition to the legalisation of euthanasia; and whether they accept that the use of advance directives can create circumstances in which euthanasia is practised.
§ Baroness Jay of Paddington
The Government have no plans to change the law relating to euthanasia.
It is a general principle of law and medical practice that any person with the mental capacity to make a valid 252WA decision may choose whether or not to accept medical treatment. An advance directive is a way for a patient to plan ahead for a time when he/she may lose the capacity to make or convey his/her own treatment decisions. An advance directive which is clearly applicable in the circumstances pertaining is as legally binding on health professionals as a contemporaneous refusal would be. An advance directive cannot authorise a medical practitioner to do anything which is illegal.