Friday, May 28, 2010

Toothless Brit Law Against Assisted Suicide

The pro-death crowd in the UK has hammered away at laws criminalizing assisted suicide for the last several years.

They have been very successful.

From high-profile advocacy among activists such as Debbie Purdy, whose fight to commit assisted suicide at the Swiss death clinic Dignitas without her husband being charged in the UK; to the drumbeat of assisted suicide as a dignified and ethical way of killing; to the in-your-face “heroes” who have publicly flaunted UK law by assisting suicides in the UK, the law itself is beginning to falter.

It began after Purdy forced UK legal authorities to issue a “clarification” on laws allowing for the prosecution of those who assist in another’s suicide. The “clarification” actually muddied the waters even more and certainly left an impression that prosecution was unlikely.

This has just been reinforced by Michael Bateman, who assisted in his wife’s suicide and then went public, essentially calling the law’s bluff.

Unsurprisingly, the law faltered. After much staring at their collective legal navels, the Brit authorities have decided not to prosecute Bateman, who openly admitted breaking the law.

The message is now clear in the UK: It’s OK to kill people because the law will look the other way - not even look the other way – but to come out siding with the criminal.

From London's Evening Standard.

Husband who helped wife to die will not be prosecuted.

A devoted husband will not be prosecuted for assisting the suicide of his 62-year-old wife, Crown prosecutors announced today.

They said there was sufficient evidence to take Michael Bateman to court over his wife Margaret's death last October but a trial would not be in the public interest.

Mr Bateman helped place a plastic bag over the head of his wife who died from inhaling helium at the family home in Birstall, West Yorkshire. more

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