‘The law is there to protect those that are ill and vulnerable’

14 January 2022

The Crown Prosecution Service is proposing to soften its stance on so-called ‘mercy killings’. There will be a 12-week consultation on the new guidance, which would outline factors that would make the CPS more or less likely to charge someone with murder, manslaughter or attempted murder.

Andrea Williams commented:

“A society should always be compassionate to those who are suffering from horrible medical conditions and to their loved ones. However, the law is there to protect those that are ill and vulnerable. This is not the first time the CPS has sought to produce guidelines that might weaken the protections the law provides in the protection of life. This is not something they should open the door to.

The consultation published today could cause great harm to individuals and society. We should learn from other jurisdictions where sentencing protections are weakened and assisted suicide is legalised.

This is a concerning development that will weaken the protection the law provides for human life. If the defence to assisted suicide is that the person who assisted was wholly motivated by compassion it doesn’t take much imagination to see how that will be exploited. And who will be the judge of that?

The CPS must strengthen its defence of human life in the prosecution process, not lessen it. A consultation like this, if acted on, will only weaken the law.”

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