Society for Old Age Rational Suicide

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The Society for Old Age Rational Suicide (SOARS) is a group based in the United Kingdom concerned with choice at the end of life. It was established on December 10, 2009 (Human Rights Day) by Dr. Michael Irwin, a former Medical Director of the United Nations who has campaigned extensively for voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.[1] SOARS is a member of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.[2]

The main long-term objective of SOARS is to campaign to get the law eventually changed in the UK so that elderly, mentally competent individuals who are suffering unbearably from health problems, are allowed to receive a physician's assistance to die, if this is their persistent request.[3]

Present activities of SOARS include promoting wider understanding and acceptance of principles of Old Age Rational Suicide, advocating the use of Advance Decisions (also known as "living wills"), holding public meetings including an Annual SOARS Lecture, encouraging discussion regarding choice at the end of life, and determining the degree of UK public support for old age rational suicide. It may also offer help for those who qualify after meeting necessary safeguards, to travel from the UK to Switzerland for a physician-assisted suicide, where it is legally condoned if motives are altruistic.[4][5]

SOARS notes that three national ICM Research opinion polls held between 2010 and 2013 have shown that 66%-70% of the UK population are in support of people being able to receive a physician’s assistance to die if they are elderly, mentally competent, suffering a variety of serious health problems and have made persistent requests to end their life.[6]

The SOARS logo is the derelict West Pier in Brighton, England where SOARS was founded. It is chosen because it “was once a place of great excitement and pleasure”.[3]


  1. ^ "Profile: Michael Irwin, former GP who founded Society for Old Age Rational Suicide". Daily Telegraph. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "World Federation of Right to Die Societies: member organisations". Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Society for Old Age Rational Suicide". Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "SOARS Newsletter, Issue 3, April 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dignitas: Legal basis". Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "SOARS Report ICM Poll March 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 16 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

  • Brewer, Colin and Irwin, Michael (2015). “I’ll See Myself Out, Thank You” – Thirty personal views in support of physician-assisted suicide. Skyscraper Publications. ISBN 978-0992627096