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Sunday 27th May 2018

Woman loses assisted suicide fight

29th October 2008

A woman suffering from multiple sclerosis has lost her landmark legal bid to clarify the law on assisted suicide.

Wheelchair-bound Debbie Purdy listened as two senior judges rejected her High Court application for a ruling to force the Director of Public Prosecutions to offer further guidance.

Her lawyers argued the DPP was in breach of her Article 8 right to respect for her private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights because of his failure to make the law clear.

Ms Purdy, 45, from Undercliffe, Bradford, West Yorkshire, wants to know if her husband will be prosecuted if he helps her travel abroad to die.

But Lord Justice Scott Baker and Mr Justice Aikens ruled at London's High Court that her human rights had not been infringed.

Lord Justice Scott Baker said: "We cannot leave this case without expressing great sympathy for Ms Purdy, her husband and others in a similar position who wish to know in advance whether they will face prosecution for doing what many would regard as something that the law should permit, namely to help a loved one go abroad to end their suffering when they are unable to do it on their own.

"This would involve a change in the law. The offence of assisted suicide is very widely drawn to cover all manner of different circumstances; only Parliament can change it."

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Article Information

Title: Woman loses assisted suicide fight
Author: Anne Waller
Article Id: 8959
Date Added: 29th Oct 2008


Birmingham Mail


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