....to JusticeGhana Group

 Welcome to JusticeGhana

JusticeGhana is a Non-Governmental [and-not-for- profit] Organization (NGO) with a strong belief in Justice, Security and Progress....” More Details

Tories play down Anna Soubry comments on assisted suicide


Tories play down Anna Soubry comments on assisted suicide

Anna Soubry was appointed health minister in last week's reshuffle. Photograph: Yui Mok/PASources say PM sees no need for change in law, after health minister calls for honesty over rules on helping terminally ill die

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent

JGhana Ads
David Cameron is distancing himself from his outspoken new health minister Anna Soubry, who last week called for help to be given to terminally ill patients who want to end their lives.

Senior Tory sources said the prime minister saw no need for a change in the law or in legal guidance on the issue.

Soubry, a former barrister on the Tory left who joined the health ministry in last week's reshuffle, told the Times on Saturday that it was "ridiculous and appalling" that terminally ill people had to travel abroad to end their lives.

"The rules that we have about who we don't prosecute allow things to happen but there's a good argument that we should be a bit more honest about it," the minister said.

Soubry qualified her remarks by saying she felt ambivalence about the case of Tony Nicklinson, 58, who died recently after unsuccessfully fighting a court case for the right to have his life ended legally. Soubry said: "I don't know where I am with that one. I really feel that you can't say to a doctor 'kill'. It was a fascinating moral and legal case. You can't say to a doctor or a nurse you can kill this person."

Downing Street indicated on Monday that the Nicklinson case could prompt a rethink of the rules. The prime minister's spokesman said: "There has been some debate over the course of the last week. The Nicklinson family case has raised very profound moral and ethical issues. There are very strong arguments on both sides of the debate. It is an issue that will no doubt be debated further in the future. But it is one for parliament to decide and it is always an issue of conscience."

It is understood that the spokesman's comments were designed to highlight the way in which parliament may debate the issues raised by the Nicklinson case over the coming months. This would be a matter for parliament, not the government, and MPs would have a free vote if one were held.

Tory sources said the prime minister's personal view was that there was no need for a change in the law and no need to revise the guidelines for England and Wales outlined by Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions. In 2010 Starmer outlined six factors that could militate against prosecuting an individual who had assisted the suicide of another person.

A Tory source said: "There are no plans afoot on assisted suicide. Anna Soubry is not road-testing a great new government debate. Any vote in parliament would be free. It is the prime minister's long-held view that there is no need for a change in the law, though he had enormous sympathy for the Nicklinson family."

Source: The Guardian UK



 1000 Characters left

Antispam Refresh image Case sensitive

JusticeGhana Group *All Rights Reserved © 2007-2013*Privacy Policy