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UK High Court rejects challenge to assisted suicide law

by | Mar 30, 2017

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Noel Conway

Noel Conway

Great news: The UK High Court has decided to dismiss a request by Noel Conway to hear his challenge to the assisted suicide law

The High Court decided that it is the role of parliament to make law and not the role of the Court. “Lord Justice Burnett said it remained ‘institutionally inappropriate’ for a court to make a declaration of incompatibility between pieces of legislation, irrespective of personal views,” the BBC reported.

Conway has said he will appeal the decision.

The UK Supreme Court made a similar ruling in the Tony Nicklinson case, when it upheld the assisted suicide law in June 2014. In the Nicklinson decision the court asked parliament to debate assisted suicide.

One of the deciding factors was that the British parliament overwhelming rejected an assisted suicide bill by 330 to 118 in June 2015.

Disability activists, in the UK, remain strongly opposed to assisted suicide.

Baroness Jane Campbell – Assisted suicide could lure me to the grave.

Kevin Fitzpatrick – Debating assisted suicide – Contempt for life with disability surrounds us.

The British Medical Association has debated assisted suicide on several occasions and has rejected the push to go neutral on assisted suicide. In June 2016, the BMA voted against going neutral on assisted suicide by a two to one majority.

In response to the High Court decision, The Care Not Killing Alliance stated:

This was a troubling case that sought to usurp the democratic will of Parliament.

The current laws on assisted suicide and euthanasia are simple and clear. They exist to protect those who are sick, elderly, depressed, or disabled from feeling obliged to end their lives.

The UK Court is acting responsibly by limiting its role to interpreting law, but not making law. Conway is stating that he will appeal the decision.

The UK Court is acting responsibly by limiting its role to interpreting law, but not making law.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog.

Categories: Assisted Suicide