Euthanasia and assisted dying

'It can be construed as torture'
A man who lives with chronic and excruciating pain has begun a fresh legal challenge to the law that criminalises assisted suicide.

The Man Who Helps People To Die

The Dutch clinic that sends teams to people's homes to help them end their lives
Steven Pleiter tells Anna Holligan about his foundation 'The End of Life Clinic' that helps people die in their own homes. 

(Picture: Dictionary definition of euthanasia, Credt: Getty Images)

The Legacy of Debbie Purdy

Debbie Purdy's fight to protect the man she loved changed the debate on assisted dying.
Deborah Bowman, Professor of Medical Ethics & Law at St George's, University of London, explores the remarkable stories behind some of the world's most discussed legal cases and examines how they have transformed medical practice for us all.

Our eye-witness drama "Test Case: Debbie Purdy" told the story of Debbie Purdy, a journalist who fell in love with a Cuban jazz musician, just as she discovered that she had primary progressive MS. Years later, their love led to a legal challenge in the House of Lords. Debbie was asking for the law to be clarified: if her condition meant she needed an assisted death, could her husband be prosecuted?

So what became of Debbie Purdy and her husband Omar, who inspired her case?  Why did Debbie’s legal battle, which happened 10 years ago, have such an impact?

Deborah Bowman discusses these questions with the people who were there: her husband, Omar Puente, her solicitor, Saimo Chahal, and Lord Falconer, the barrister and Labour peer who campaigned on the issue in Parliament.

Producer: Beth Eastwood

Dean welcomes assisted dying debate

BBC Radio Jersey

Mike Keirle
BBC

The Dean of Jersey said he "absolutely welcomed" the decision by politicians to research end-of-life choices, including assisted dying.

However, The Very Reverend Mike Keirle said the safeguarding of vulnerable people needed to be considered in the debate.

On Monday the States of Jersey agreed to look into allowing doctors to help terminally ill people to take their own lives.

"I think there's some interesting evidence to suggest that there are other ways to look at this issue.

"But I think that needs to be part of the whole conversation, really," Very Rev Keirle said.

Protection of vulnerable 'debated in end-of-life talks'

BBC Radio Jersey

Protection for vulnerable people will be taken into account during a debate over whether people in Jersey should be allowed to take their own lives for medical reasons.

Jersey States has announced it will research end-of-life choices and it would also have a public consultation.

Health Minister Richard Renouf said it was recognised that it was a "sensitive issue"...

We recognise it's a very complex and sensitive issue and nothing is going to change quickly. We don't want anyone to have any concerns about vulnerable people because all this will be fully researched before we even contemplate making any changes."

In May, politicians in Guernsey voted against proposals which could have seen the island become the first place in the British Isles to allow assisted dying.