Should there be a right to die with dignity in certain medical cases in the United Kingdom? Some reflections on the decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court regarding the protection afforded by Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights

Claydon, Lisa (2015). Should there be a right to die with dignity in certain medical cases in the United Kingdom? Some reflections on the decision of the United Kingdom Supreme Court regarding the protection afforded by Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. Jahbruch für Wissenchaft und Ethik, 19(1) pp. 91–104.

URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jfwe.2015.19.issu...

Abstract

On the 25th June 2014 the Supreme Court gave its decision in the case of applications for judicial review of the law relating to assisted suicide. The claim being that the applicants' right to a private and family life was infringed by the present law. The claims were originally made by three men, Tony Nicklinson, Paul Lamb and a man, who to retain anonymity, was simply known as Martin. All three sought to change the law of England and Wales in relation to assisted suicide. The cases arose by way of appeals against the decisions of lower courts. The Supreme Court was asked to consider whether the present law on assisted suicide contravened the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Additionally it was asked to review the code, issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions, (DPP) giving advice to those who wished to commit suicide but would need assistance so to do. The code advised those assisting a suicide as to their legal position if they were to assist someone else to die. There was legal argument to the effect that the code lacked certainty particularly where those requested to assist were members of the medical profession.

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