|Alex with Paul Russell|
"the law relating to assisting suicide cannot be changed by judicial decision".
"whatever the personal views of any individual judge on these delicate and sensitive subjects - and I suspect that the personal views of individual judges would be as contradictory as those held by any other group of people - the constitutional imperative is that, however subtle and impressive the arguments to the contrary may be, we cannot effect the changes or disapply the present statutory provisions, not because we are abdicating our responsibility, but precisely because we are fulfilling our proper constitutional role".
The judgment comprehensively and completely dismissed these appeals, which sought to alter legislation covering murder.
"All three judges strongly rejected the notion that 'necessity' should be a defence in euthanasia cases, saying this was not compatible with English Law. Further, the blanket prohibition on assisted suicide in the UK is not contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights."
"The judges, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson and Lord Justice Elias, recognised that changing the laws on murder and suicide are matters for Parliament alone. They acknowledged that these issues had been debated by Parliament frequently in recent years."
"And they confirmed the simple truth that the current law exists to protect the vulnerable and those without a voice: disabled people, terminally ill people and elderly people, who might otherwise feel pressured into ending their lives."
|Dr Andrew Fergusson|
"Two of the three judges concluded that the DPP should issue some very minor clarification to the prosecution guidelines covering assisted suicide for 'class two cases' requiring the involvement of a health professional. We were persuaded by the dissenting opinion from the UK's most senior judge that change was unnecessary and unhelpful, but, importantly, this clarification does not change the current law."
"These latest court cases, along with previous cases and the numerous debates in Parliament confirm that there is a limit to choice in a democratic and tolerant society. The judges acknowledged these are three tragic cases but agreed with our view that it is not acceptable to expect the state to sanction and condone murder."
"I hope this latest decision will now draw a line once and for all under the legal debate and allow politicians, society as a whole, and health professionals to focus attention on how we care for the terminally ill, disabled and elderly."