Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As previously noted, the top prosecutor in England released factors his department would use in deciding whether to prosecute under the country's assisted suicide ban.
These guidelines were ordered after noteworthy assisted suicide cases forced the issue to the forefront:
- At 23, a paralyzed rugby player ended his life at Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland.
- A woman with multiple sclerosis asked the courts to decide whether her husband would be prosecuted for accompanying her to Dignitas.
According to one source, the guidelines were expected to make clearer the distinction between assisting a suicide and encouraging a suicide. Time will tell if this expectation was fulfilled.
See John Arlidge and Sarah-Kate Templeton, The farewell of an assisted suicide, TimesOnline, Sept. 20, 2009; Sarah-Kate Templeton and David Leppard, Campaigners win the fight to legalise assisted suicide, TimesOnline, Sept. 20, 2009.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this to my attention.