Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Right to Die Takes Center Stage in Britain


In one of the most high-profile attempts to change Britain’s law on the right to die, two paralyzed men seek to protect from prosecution those who would help them end their lives.

Paul Lamb was left immobile after a car accident in 1990 and is constantly on morphine to relieve the pain.  The other paralyzed man, known only as Martin, can not speak or move after suffering a stroke four years ago.  Both men wish to decriminalize assisted suicide and exercise their right to die, believing that their lives have become unbearable.

Their lawyer cited a report to Parliament concluding that British law in this area was “inadequate, incoherent and should not continue.”  Opponents of the right to die believe decriminalization will put vulnerable people at risk.

This court hearing comes at the same time a bill is to be presented to Parliament that would legalize assisted suicide in certain circumstances.  In the U.S., only Oregon, Washington, and Montana allow some form of legal euthanasia.

See Paralyzed British Men Fight Right-to-Die Case in Court, Fox News, May 13, 2013.


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