Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Assisted Suicide Laws Thrown Into Disarray

The Government's Director of Public Vacillation, Keith Starmer.

The Telegraph reports on a disturbing case, the precedent of which hardly bodes well for the future of the protection of the vulnerable in the UK. The law is said to be in disarray because, according to the Daily Mail, 'the case was in stark contrast to that of Frances Inglis, the mother given nine years last week for injecting her brain-damaged son with a lethal dose of heroin, because Lynn had said she wanted to die.'

The law surrounding the prosecution of relatives who help their loved ones to die was thrown into disarray last night after a mother was cleared of trying to kill her daughter. Kay Gilderdale walked from court after being acquitted of the attempted murder of Lynn, 31, despite previously admitting to helping her commit suicide.

Lynn decided she wanted to end her life after her body had been left “broken” by 17 years of the chronic fatigue illness ME. At the age of 14, a sporty, athletic Lynn began a downward spiral that would see her confined to her bedroom, unable to move her legs, swallow or eat. At her most severely ill, she could recognise no one. Mrs Gilderdale initially tried to stop her daughter ending her life but backed down after she said: “I want the pain to go — I don’t want to go on.”

Mrs Gilderdale admitted assisting her suicide by giving her sleeping pills, antidepressants and injecting air into her veins in December 2008 after her daughter had injected herself with morphine.

But she was also prosecuted for the attempted murder of her daughter, only to be cleared unanimously by a jury yesterday in less than two hours. It emerged that Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), had taken the decision to pursue the attempted murder charge in November, a month after issuing guidance on assisted suicides. The move came after law lords backed a call for clarification of the law by Debbie Purdy, a multiple sclerosis sufferer.

The Gilderdale case revived the debate surrounding both “mercy killings” and assisted suicide after issues were raised over why the 55-year-old was in court at all. Last year, two judges questioned whether it was in the public interest to prosecute her for attempted murder, given that she had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting suicide. One suggested the case be dropped rather than “let this defendant get tangled up in a messy trial for the sake of some legal mumbo jumbo”...

So, there we have it! Whether someone actively participated in someone's suicide, instead of assisting them to live, is now 'some legal mumbo jumbo'...) Both this lady's daughter and the boy with brain damage were vulnerable. Consent to being killed, suicide, is not the mindset of a healthy, balanced individual. Suicidal tendencies require supervision, care, compassion and love.

[Full article, click here...]


punyworm said...

I am sorry, but I don't get the point you are making or maybe your not making a point. could you be more clear?

The Bones said...

A mother chose to end her daughter's life, rather than save it. The court doesn't touch her. What message is this sending out to society?

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