Thursday, October 30, 2008

Assisted suicide challenge defeated

Debbie Purdy, an MS sufferer backed by the pro-euthanasia group Dignity in Dying, has lost her High Court legal challenge. Mrs Purdy challenged the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether her husband would be prosecuted if he accompanied her to a Swiss suicide clinic.

SPUC was an intervener in the case and has expressed relief at the ruling, along with other pro-life and disability-rights groups who have been watching the case with concern. Anthony Ozimic of SPUC was quoted in a press release as saying:

"Firstly, we extend our compassion to Mrs Purdy and her husband and hope that instead of assisted suicide, she will receive all the palliative care and other assistance she requires. Mrs Purdy's life is worth living to its natural end. She is not better off dead.

"Secondly, we are relieved that the court has rejected the claims made by Mrs Purdy's lawyers. The underlying objective of the case, brought by the pro-euthanasia lobby, was to undermine the law on assisted suicide. The ban on assisted suicide protects the value and dignity of human life."

"The death-for-disability lobby are a lethal threat to vulnerable individuals. Allowing assisted suicide would create pressure, either real or perceived, upon the vulnerable. Allowing suicide does nothing to address the medical, psychological or other needs of the terminally-ill."

Mrs Purdy has been granted the right to appeal the ruling and has said that she will take the case to the House of Lords.