Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Courts and assisted suicide in Britain

Here is a judicial philosophy that seems hard to sympathize with: Lord Chief Justice won't allow 'personal sympathy' to sway decision on assisted suicide

"The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, said he and his fellow judges were “acutely aware of the desperate situation” faced by people such as Tony Nicklinson, the “locked-in” syndrome sufferer who starved himself to death last year after losing a right-to-die case.

"But he said “only basic principles of law” could decide whether or not there could ever be any relaxation of the ban on assisted suicide.

"He also challenged lawyers brandishing opinion poll findings pointing to strong public support for a change in the law, questioning how it was relevant, adding: “The public may change its mind next week.”

"He said the case could not be decided “on the basis of opinion polls”.

"Lord Judge was speaking as he, joined by the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson and Lord Justice Elias, began to hear submissions as part of a wide ranging Court of Appeal challenge to the UK’s laws on euthanasia."

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