Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

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Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by The evil one on Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:50 pm

Dying patients are to be given new guidelines on how far a person can go in assisting suicide without being prosecuted.


Relatives of people who kill themselves will not face prosecution as long as they do not maliciously encourage them and assist only a "clear settled and informed wish" to commit suicide, the Director of Public Prosecutions said today.
Keir Starmer QC outlined guidance to make it easier for those helping someone commit assisted suicide to know if they will face prosecution.
The move comes after the Law Lords backed a call by multiple sclerosis sufferer Debbie Purdy for a policy statement on whether people who help someone commit suicide should be prosecuted.




Mr Starmer said: "There are no guarantees against prosecution and it is my job to ensure that the most vulnerable people are protected while at the same time giving enough information to those people like Mrs Purdy who want to be able to make informed decisions about what actions they may choose to take."
"Assisting suicide has been a criminal offence for nearly 50 years and my interim policy does nothing to change that."
More than 100 Britons have ended their lives at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, but, until now, friends or relatives who accompany them have not known if they will face prosecution.

Mr Starmer outlined 16 public interest factors in favour of prosecution and 13 factors against prosecution.
Some factors in favour of prosecution included that the victim was under 18 and did not ask personally on his or her own initiative for the assistance of the
suspect.
Another factor in favour of prosecution was that a relative "persuaded, pressured or maliciously encouraged the victim to commit suicide".
Factors against prosecution included that the victim had a "clear, settled and informed wish to commit suicide" and that the victim "indicated unequivocally to the suspect that he or she wished to commit suicide".
Ms Purdy from Undercliffe in Bradford, West Yorkshire, wanted to know what would happen to her Cuban husband Omar Puente if he helped her travel abroad to end her life.
The High Court and Court of Appeal held that it was for Parliament, not the courts, to change the law.
The Law Lords agreed changes were a matter for Parliament but they upheld Ms Purdy's argument that the DPP should put in writing the factors he regarded as relevant in deciding whether or not to prosecute.


Ms Purdy has already sent an email to Mr Starmer warning him she will criticise his guidelines because they cannot go far enough, but adding that she appreciates his open-minded approach to the issue.
"It is obvious that there are going to be some elements that I disagree with," Ms Purdy told Sky News.
"But I just wanted to let him know that I respect the fact that he has had the courage to stand up... and is prepared to clarify the law properly."
Other high profile cases that have heaped pressure on the current system include that of rugby player Daniel James.
The England under-16 rugby player ended his life at Dignitas last year, aged just 23, after he was paralysed in an accident during a match.












Is this a goed idea? I think if it is written down well, and is only used as a last resort, then it is only fair to die with a bit of dignity. It can only be fair on the family, as it must be heartbreaking to see a loved one suffer.
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Earth, Wind & Fire on Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:18 pm

Mr Starmer outlined 16 public interest factors in favour of prosecution and 13 factors against prosecution.
Some
factors in favour of prosecution included that the victim was under 18
and did not ask personally on his or her own initiative for the
assistance of the
suspect.
Another factor in favour of
prosecution was that a relative "persuaded, pressured or maliciously
encouraged the victim to commit suicide".
Factors against
prosecution included that the victim had a "clear, settled and informed
wish to commit suicide" and that the victim "indicated unequivocally to
the suspect that he or she wished to commit suicide".

Interesting..it must be terribly difficult as the DPP to know how to
treat such incidences. I'd be quite amazed that someone would be
pressurised into taking their own life by relatives - it just doesn't
seem likely that it would happen.

I had two cousins who were afflicted with MS, they were sister and
brother - they both had very different attitudes to their illness. The
woman was completely depressed by it, she hated not being 100% healthy
and being confined to a wheelchair, knowing that she would eventually
lose all control of the rest of her body...that blindness and an
inability to speak were inevitable and she hated her children and
husband having to see her like that. She was coming home from
Liverpool to visit her mum here...someone holding her wheelchair tipped
her out accidently as she was getting the ferry - she broke her arm and
was hospitalised, she never left the hospital alive, within a matter of
weeks she completely gave up on life...I don't know if you can will
yourself dead but I believe my father did when he knew that there was
no treatment for his cancer.

I think the will to die can be just as strong as the will to live.

My male cousin with MS died a couple of years ago...people found him
incredibly inspiring as a person, he was one of the happiest cheeriest
calmest souls despite his illness and he ended up falling madly in love
with a fellow resident in the Cheshire home he lived in before he
died...

He became very ill...he was at death's door but he clung onto life, I
remember my aunt saying how she wished he would let go...that he would
be blessed with the acceptance that he was dying but despite having a
barely functioning body he wanted to live so much but death was
inevitable and he died.

I think if someone is in horrific physical pain, if their body has let
them down and they wish to die then they should be helped to...and prosecution shouldn't be considered at all.
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by The evil one on Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:04 pm

I think the will to die can be just as strong as the will to live.

So true... and those that haf chosen to end their lives, should be allowed. After all, we do the same to our pets, when they are too ill, so as to spare them suffering.

So... do we actually as a race, believe that animals deserve to haf a better quality of life?
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Earth, Wind & Fire on Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:59 pm

So... do we actually as a race, believe that animals deserve to haf a better quality of life?
I think that in particular, we, in the Western world having been brought up with christian values as the basis of our laws have it inbred in us that to take a human life is wrong.

It's easier to be more humane to animals and put them out of any needless suffering because they don't rate as high as humans...it also happens that animals are treated incredibly cruelly too by bona fide businesses including those who farm animals for food, fur and for testing drugs and other products on.

Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath don't they?

part of it:

I WILL FOLLOW that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.

I think it's understood that a dumb animal needs others to act in their best interests for them because they have no voice..who knows what they would ask if they could
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by The evil one on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:12 pm

I agree with the Hippocratic Oath completely, and do not think that should be amended at all.

I think a lot of it nowadays is down to the fact that life expectancy has raised dramatically over the past 100 years as shown here

We are now living longer, and past what current medicine is capable of. After all, who's to say, that in another 100 years all cancer would be eradicated?

So, while we may grow older with each generation... medicine is attempting to keep people alive, when they would haf passed away a few generations ago.

Oh... for the record, I am neither for or against 'assisted suicide'... just seeing it from a wide angle... as never know, we may be needing it
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Earth, Wind & Fire on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:32 pm

There was a case in Ireland, a year or two ago; where a woman who was suffering with severe depression and had been for many years and after much help from physicians and psychiatrists decided that she would rather die than live her life..(I might have the story wrong in a few places haha but I will look up a link to the story later).

The woman in her 40's was found dead in her apartment - they had no idea how she had died but soon discovered after looking through her pc that she'd enlisted the help of some group in America who help people die - I think she paid for the flights of two of them over and they administer some drugs to her..or she took them in her presence and they held her hand through the whole ordeal..

Slightly odd kind of story really - they left after she was dead and they probably did the tourist thing in Dublin - flew back home and that was it, the end of their involvement until the police contacted them and I think they were made come back here to face the consequences of what they did...
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by The evil one on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:43 pm

Oh my God... that is awful. To travel to another country with the sole intention of ending someone's life... borders on them being assassins!!

To travel to a place where it is done, would actually give the person time to reflect as to whether it was the right choice or not.
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Earth, Wind & Fire on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:50 pm

Yes..I believe that was the issue, there was a problem by the DPP or Gardai in accepting that they were merely helping the woman concerned, they wondered if they hadn't made it too easy and too normal a thing for the woman to think contacting these guys to help her die and paying them to do it wasn't tantamount to applying pressure on her???

I will look for the story....
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Earth, Wind & Fire on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:06 am

Oh here we go... Rev. George Exoo, the man who helped that woman die and his story...

Rev George Exoo (66) spent four months in prison in West Virginia in 2007 in relation to a garda extradition warrant.

A West Virginia court later ruled that Exoo could not be extradited to Ireland because assisting suicide is not a crime under federal or West Virginia law and is not an offence in 25 of the 50 states in the US.

Exoo travelled to Dublin seven years ago to assist Rosemary Toole-Gilhooley (49) take her own life in an apartment in Dublin. She died after taking pills and inhaling helium.

Exoo has insisted that Toole-Gilhooley had made detailed preparations for her death and that his role was simply to pray and hold her hand while she took her life. He claims that she was suffering from Cushing's syndrome and not depression alone.

I wonder what the helium was for..

Apparently under Irish law assisted suicide is a crime since 1993
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by The evil one on Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:09 am

Explaining why helium is used


Assisted suicide could be classed as manslaughter, from anyone not practising medicine??
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Geordie Colin on Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:06 pm

I understand that the guidlines advocate the use of an abbitour cattle stun gun afore administering a deft thwack to the cranium of the in laws from hell.
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Re: Assisted suicide to get new guidelines

Post by Earth, Wind & Fire on Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:11 pm

But only if your in laws have a giant insurance policy or lots of money which you will inherit - otherwise you'll be arrested for sheer stupidity.
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