Feb 25, 2010


After expecting to find a promised post about her appearance on the Channel 4 show Tower Block of Commons we are treated to a more serious piece about assisted suicide.

I'm not going to knock Nadine for her actual views on assisted suicide, everyone has their own and they're welcome to it. How good of me, eh?

But, and there is always a but, there are some things that are not quite right with her post.

Tomorrow the DPP, Kier Starmer will publish a new guidance regarding policy on prosecuting assisted suicide cases.

The report follows a period of consultation, which was apparently nudged into action by the Debbie Purdy case.

'Apparently'? The consultation was forced on the Director of Public Prosecutions by the Law Lords ruling on the case involving Debbie Purdy who wanted to know if her husband would face prosecution if he helped her to kill herself.

The inclusion of the word 'apparently' implies that the Debbie Purdy case was used as an excuse. It wasn't. The DPP had no choice. The Law Lords made him. Without the Debbie Purdy case, Kier Starmer would not have had to issue guidelines about the the prosecution of people that help others to take their own life. There is no 'apparently' about it.

Prior to the consultation process, Kier Starmer said,

‘Assessing the public interest is not simply a matter of adding up the number of factors on each side and seeing which side of the scales has the greater number. Each case must be considered on its own facts and its own merits. Prosecutors must decide the importance of each public interest factor in the circumstances of each case and go on to make an overall assessment.

In that one paragraph, Kier Starmer has implied that the law is no longer relevant and if Parliament refuses to change the law, he will make it up himself.

OMG! People not being prosecuted for committing crimes!

People are not prosecuted all the time. The police have something that is called 'using their judgement'. The Crown Prosecution Service can decide not to prosecute because of something called 'not in the public interest'. There is nothing new happening here at all.

After that Nadine goes on to have a pop at the one of the Tories favourite punchbags, the BBC...

The BBC has possibly been one of the worst offenders in terms of pushing an agenda of ‘normalising' attitudes towards assisted suicide.

Has it? Is there an example given? I'm not asking for pages and pages. Just the one will do. But no.

It sounds to me like reality didn't quite go the right way for Nadine so she is reduced to throwing in uncertainties and unfounded accusations in the hope that they will stick and gain some traction in the hope of removing autonomy of people over their own bodies... again.

BTW, the DPP press release is here and contains the public interest factors for and against prosecution.

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