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British Guidelines - Assisted Suicide Still Unlawful, but Allowed

Posted Sep 20 2009 10:11pm
Keir Starmer, the British Director of Public Prosecutions, was interviewed today onBBC One's Andrew Marr Show.

On Wednesday, he will release the Guidelines recently mandated by the House of Law Lords in the Debbie Purdy case. These are basically a list of factors weighing for or against prosecution of a violation of the 1961 assisted suicide prohibition in England and Wales.

While assisted suicide remains an offense, it will very probably be safe to assist the suicide of a person for compassionate reasons where the person's decision is voluntary and deliberate. The factors will probably look similar to those articulated in the Daniel James case.

Notably, the Guidelines cover not only suicide tourism (e.g. to Switzerland) but also domestic assisted suicide.
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