House of Lords: Assisting Suicide and the Discretion to Prosecute Revisited

Dave Powell

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Debbie Purdy suffers from multiple sclerosis. She anticipates that her condition will worsen to a point at which her continuing existence will become unbearable. At this point she will want to end her own life. She would need help to do this as she would have to travel to a jurisdiction in which assisted suicide is lawful. She would be unable to do this without the assistance of her husband who would then be liable to prosecution under the Suicide Act 1961, s. 2(1) which provides that: A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-479
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

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