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Terminally Ill Woman’s High Court Euthanasia Case to Begin

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Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of Christian Concern For Our Nation comments on the Debbie Purdy case: “The law is there to protect innocent people.  Someone who has been assisted to commit suicide will no longer be able to give an account of whether coercion was involved.  If people are vulnerable they may feel under pressure to die and the fear is that the right to die could all too soon become a duty to die”.

Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis, wants to choose when to die and plans to travel to Switzerland where assisted suicide is legal.  She wants her husband to travel with her, but if he does so, he risks being convicted of aiding and abetting suicide.  Whilst assisting suicide is illegal, the Crown Prosecution Service might decide not to prosecute Mr. Purdy, depending their decision in his case, as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP’s) does not have a policy on the matter.  Mrs. Purdy has asked the court to review the DPP’s lack of a prosecution policy in the hope that he will then form one that excludes her husband from prosecution.

Mrs. Purdy, 46, obtained permission on 11th June for a full High Court challenge to the DPP’s ‘no policy’ stance on assisted suicide.  The case begins on Thursday and will last for two days.  It is expected that the judgment will be handed down two weeks later.  She has vowed to take her case all the way to the House of Lords if she does not succeed.

Care Not Killing features this story on their website: http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/?show=443
The BBC News report can be found at the following link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7644094.stm
Click here to read the Telegraph article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/3089249/Right-to-die-campaigner-Debbie-Purdy-vows-to-take-fight-to-House-of-Lords.html.
For the Observer article, click here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/sep/28/law.euthanasia.



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