Assisted Dying Appeal Rejected

Having the right to die, is a subject that divides people’s opinions. However, some people believe that assisted dying is a part of their human rights.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has confirmed that he is ‘actively considering’ a call for evidence on the UK’s current law on assisted dying. However, this hasn’t helped Paul Newby, who has recently lost his appeal for a judicial review on the subject.

Mr Newby, who has motor neurone disease, asked the courts to undertake ‘a detailed examination of the evidence’ to determine whether the ban on assisted dying was compatible with his human rights.

The Court of Appeal refused to conduct a judicial review, and informed Mr Newby, that it was down to the Government and Parliament to change the issues surrounding the law.

Undeterred, Mr Newby considered lodging an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Refusing permission in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Dingemans, said:

“I have done so without an oral hearing…because the essence of the claim has been argued in a number of different ways in a number of different cases.”

He added:

“There is no right to death or suicide under the ECHR, to which effect has been given by the Human Rights Act 1998.”

Following on from the decision. Mr Newby issued a statement. It said:

“This decision has made it clear that judges will not engage on the issue of assisted dying.

“There is an abundance of evidence demonstrating the impact that the current law is having on families like mine up and down the country, and of safe practice in the many other countries that developed laws that provide dying people with choice. With the courts refusing to even hear cases like mine, now is the time for MPs to take real account of that evidence.”

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of the campaign group Dignity in Dying, said:

“While it’s disappointing that the courts have refused to examine this issue….The Justice Secretary should be commended for considering a call for evidence.”

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