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HEART newspaper: Heart Publications | February 20, 2019

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Court upholds assisted suicide ban

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the UK’s ban on assisted suicide does not contravene human rights legislation.

Motor neurone disease sufferer Noel Conway’s legal representatives argued that the ban was incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Mr Conway, a member of Humanists UK, was supported by the pro-assisted suicide group, Dignity in Dying.

But in a judgement on 26 June, the Court of Appeal upheld earlier judgements that the current legislation fairly balances the interests of the community with the interests of the terminally ill.

The judgement also stated that the ban protected the vulnerable, respected the sanctity of life and maintained trust between patients and doctors.

Since 2003 there have been ten failed attempts to change the law on assisted suicide through Parliament, so the campaign has switched to the courts.

Care Not Killing’s Campaign Director Dr Peter Saunders said: “This sensible decision by the Court of Appeal yet again recognises that the safest law is the one we already have.”

Mr Conway intends to appeal.