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Assisted suicide appeal denied at the Supreme Court

January 2019

The UK Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to legalise assisted suicide. The ruling by Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Reed upholds the decision by the Court of Appeal, which rejected the same arguments in June 2018.

The Supreme Court’s decision means that Mr Conway’s case cannot proceed any further in the British courts. Right to Life spokesperson, Clare McCarthy said, ‘We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision.

Our current law protects people with disabilities and vulnerable people from being coerced into ending their lives. This ruling upholds previous decisions by Parliament and judges making it clear that the current protections provided by the current law are vital.

‘The Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons, and General Practitioners, the British Medical Association, the Association of Palliative Medicine, and many others have made it clear that the safest law is the one we currently have.’

Mr Conway was too ill to attend the hearing in London. He said it is ‘barbaric’ that he must choose between what he called ‘unacceptable options’ to end his life.

‘The only option I currently have is to remove my ventilator and effectively suffocate to death under sedation,’ he said. ‘To me this is not acceptable.’

Instead, he wants medical assistance to die when he has less than six months to live, while he still has the mental capacity to make a ‘voluntary, clear, settled and informed’ choice.

Pro-euthanasia group, Dignity in Dying, backed his case. The activists said, we will now ‘turn our attention back to parliament’.