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Assisted suicide – laws clarified by Keir Starmer after consultation

April 2010

The laws on assisted suicide have been clarified again by Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions, following a massive consultation process.

The original clarifications were given last year, but following a series of high-profile court cases, Mr Starmer agreed to revisit the clarifications, setting out a range of factors that might influence whether or not a person would face prosecution for helping a loved one to die.

The list includes considerations such as whether the victim had reached a ‘voluntary, clear, settled and informed decision’. According to the Daily Telegraph, there were nearly 5000 submissions to his consultation process, from both pro-life and pro-euthanasia groups.

Although the clarifications do not change the law on assisted suicide, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali claimed that the most vulnerable people would be put at risk. He said: ‘Let us draw back from the brink and not put ourselves in moral jeopardy’.

 

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