A High Court judge has refused this week to intervene in the
case of a man planning to help his terminally ill wife to commit
suicide in Switzerland, writes Amy
The judge lifted a temporary injunction banning the trip and has
left it to the police to decide if the man is breaking the law.
The ruling came after a local authority providing care for the
woman wanted clarification on whether it was their duty to restrain
anyone from helping her make the trip.
The judge said the man had “arguably” committed an
offence under the Suicide Act 1961 by making the arrangements.
The judge’s decision not to intervene meant that the Act
was now “on its last legs”, Voluntary Euthanasia
Society chief executive Deborah Annetts said.
The woman has cerebellar ataxia, a progressive degenerative
brain disease, and wants to be go to a clinic in Zurich, which
specialises in euthanasia.
The local authority, which has not been named, had known for
some time the woman wanted to commit suicide and told the police of
the couple’s intentions.
The judge ruled that the council had fulfilled its legal
obligations to the woman.
The council has said it did not want to pursue a civil court
injunction, even though it might have power to do so.
The judge granted an injunction last week so the woman’s
capacity to make decisions on assisted suicide could be