Judge upholds end of life laws in Tony Nicklinson case
The High Court has today ruled on the Tony Nicklinson and ‘Martin’ cases, with three judges reaffirming the long established legal position that 'voluntary euthanasia is murder, however understandable the motives may be'.
Lawyers for Tony Nicklinson, who has ‘locked-in syndrome’, had argued that the principle of necessity should allow a doctor to end his life without being charged with murder.
Such a change would have had far reaching implications by removing legal protections from large numbers of sick and disabled people.
Refusing the two men judicial review, the judges ruled that the current law did not breach human rights and that it was for Parliament, not the courts, to decide whether it should be changed.
Over the last six years there have been three attempts to legalise assisted suicide in Britain, all of which have been rejected by Parliament due to concerns about public safety.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:
“No one can help but be sympathetic to Tony Nicklinson, but cases like his are extremely rare and hard cases make bad law.
“A change in the law to allow either assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia would place many sick and elderly people under significant pressure to end their lives to relieve family members from the physical, financial and emotional burden of care.
“The current law provides vital protection against abuse of the vulnerable at the hands of relatives, friends or medical practitioners.”