A cross-party group of MPs is to hold an inquiry into the law on assisted dying.
The Health and Social Care Committee said its inquiry would examine “different perspectives” in the debate around assisted dying with a focus on the healthcare aspects.
Currently, under the Suicide Act 1961, assisting a someone to take their own life is an offence punishable with up to 14 years in prison.
The issue arouses strong feelings on both sides with supporters of legalisation arguing people should be able to help terminally ill loved ones who are experiencing great suffering to end their lives.
They are, however, opposed by many religious groups who say it would undermine the value society places on human life.
Committee chairman Steve Brine said that as the Government had made clear that it was for Parliament to decide on any change to the law, it was right MPs looked at the issue.
“It’s an issue that has vexed parliamentarians who have sought a way through the many ethical, moral, practical and humane considerations involved,” he said.
“I will be approaching this inquiry with compassion and an open mind, as I know will my select committee colleagues.
“We want to hear from campaigners, members of the medical profession and members of the public and we will look at the moral, ethical and practical concerns raised in a way that is informed by actual evidence.”
The committee is expected to begin evidence hearings in the new year.