Assisted suicide case goes before Court of Appeal

A man seeking to change the law on assisted suicide begins his case before the Court of Appeal today.

The High Court ruled against a change last October after Noel Conway, who suffers from motor neurone disease, argued that the law is not compatible with his human rights.

Conway was granted permission to appeal his case, despite serious concerns over the dangerous consequences of legalising assisted suicide.

‘Public safety’

Pro-life organisations Care Not Killing and Not Dead Yet UK will be represented in court.

Dr Peter Saunders, from Care Not Killing, said: “The safest law is one Britain currently has.”

He added: “The blanket ban on assisted suicide is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

“I hope that the judges will once again dismiss this attempt to circumvent Parliament by refusing to change a law that has been debated and rejected on numerous occasions both at Westminster and Holyrood.”

14 years

Conway, 68, wants doctors to help him commit suicide because of his condition.

He is being supported in his case by Dignity in Dying, formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, and Humanists UK.

Under the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a person who intentionally encourages or assists the suicide or attempted suicide of another person commits an offence which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

A Bill to legalise assisted suicide was soundly defeated in the House of Commons in 2015 by 330 votes to 118. The Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill was also rejected by 82 votes to 36.

Related Resources