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Court rejects assisted suicide legal challenge

March 2020

Dr Gordon Macdonald
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Terminally ill man, Phil Newby, has been refused a judicial review to challenge the law on assisted dying.

Judges at the Court of Appeal said the court was ‘not an appropriate forum for the discussion of the sanctity of life’.

Under the current law it is illegal in England and Wales to encourage or assist a death. Breaking this law carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

A statement from pro-life group Care Not Killing said the decision was correct. The group said removing legal protections will put vulnerable people at risk of abuse.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, commented, ‘We welcome this latest decision by the Court of Appeal to reject an appeal for a judicial review attempt into the 1961 Suicide Act.

‘This latest legal challenge sought to introduce assisted suicide via the back door. Judges have been very clear in the past that this is a matter for Parliament not for them.’

Dr Macdonald added, ‘Evidence from around the world shows removing these protections puts vulnerable people at risk of abuse and of coming under pressure, real or perceived, to end their lives prematurely.’