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Assisted suicide challenge go-ahead

Published 28/04/2015

Alison Saunders made the prosecution of healthcare professionals in assisted suicide cases less likely
Alison Saunders made the prosecution of healthcare professionals in assisted suicide cases less likely

Disability rights campaigners have won permission to bring a legal challenge against Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Alison Saunders over her current prosecution policy in relation to the law on assisted suicide.

The Suicide Act 1961 makes it a criminal offence to assist or encourage suicide. The DPP has a discretion on whether to prosecute according to the published policy.

Last October, the DPP amended the policy, making the prosecution of healthcare professionals in assisted suicide cases less likely.

Today Nikki and Merv Kenward were given permission to challenge the DPP's actions, arguing that the DPP had in fact "changed" the policy and made it more "liberal".

They argue that the significance and legality of the change should now be properly assessed.

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