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Prachett test case for suicide law

2nd February 2010

Sir Terry Pratchett has offered to be a 'test case for assisted suicide tribunals' so people with terminal illness could kill themselves legally.

terrypratchett

The author, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, said tribunals could give support to people with terminal conditions who wanted to die.

Sir Terry's keynote lecture 'Shaking Hands With Death' said the 'time was really coming' for assisted suicide to be made legal.

His lecture came after a mother was acquitted of the attempted murder of her daughter, after she helped her to commit suicide.

Kay Gilderdale said she had aided her daughter, who suffered from ME which left her paralysed, in taking her own life.

Sir Terry said he wanted to make sure that people who wanted to end their lives were protected by laws which made sure they were thinking clearly and not under the influence of someone else.

"At the moment if someone assists someone else to commit suicide in this country or elsewhere they become suspect to murder until the police decide otherwise," he told the BBC.

"I think it would be rather better if a person wishes to die, they could go see the tribunal with friends and relatives and present their case - at least if it happens, it happens with, as it were, authority."

 

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