Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Motion in British Parliament questions the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning the Gilderdale case

Ann Widdecombe, a member of parliament in the UK brought a motion to the house yesterday to question the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, in his decision to prosecute Lynn Gilderdale with attempted murder.

Yesterday I stated in this blog that it appears that Keir Starmer is dismantling the euthanasia and assisted suicide laws in the UK. He first introduced Prosecution Guidelines, that reduce the legal protections for people with disabilities and those with family members who have caused or assisted in the cause of their death. Now he has prosecuted a case as attempted murder, even thought the case was more likely defined as assisting a suicide, a charge that Lynn Gilderdale had pleaded guilty to.

It should not surprise anyone that the jury acquitted Lynn Gilderdale because under the circumstances an acquittal was expected.

By setting-up the circumstance whereby it appears that the courts are unable to prosecute someone for assisted suicide and possibly euthanasia in the UK, Starmer is in fact forcing parliament to amend the statute.

A friend in the UK has suggested that Starmer did not set-up this situation but rather mess-up this situation. Nonetheless, Starmer needs to resign his position or the UK Government needs to ask for his resignation.

The following is the motion by Ann Widdecombe in the British Parliament:
Early Day Motion
EDM 723

LAW ON ASSISTED SUICIDE (No. 2) - 26.01.2010

Widdecombe, Ann

That this House notes the tragic case of Lynn Gilderdale and the fact that her mother, Kay, was charged with assisted suicide for helping to end her life; further notes that 110 people from the UK have flown to Switzerland for the purpose of assisted suicide and not one person accompanying them has had to face being charged in court because the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) decided against it on the grounds that it would have been against the public interest; further notes, however, that although the situation of Lynn and Kay Gilderdale was more stressful and tragic than most of the cases where people were flown to Switzerland, the DPP decided to bring charges against Mrs Gilderdale, a decision questioned by the judge and many commentators for her; further notes, however, that the DPP's decision was taken shortly after the publication of his Guidelines of Assisted Suicide which have been heavily criticised by senior members of the legal profession, parliamentarians and public commentators on the grounds that they jeopardise the right to life of the vulnerable sick and disabled; further notes that the case has been used as a showpiece to promote the legalisation of assisted suicide and of the DPP's Assisted Suicide Guidelines; and calls on the Government to require from the DPP the grounds on which he decided to pursue Mrs Gilderdale, whose case accords with all the conditions listed in the Guidelines as justifiable for not bringing a prosecution.

Link to the motion in the UK parliament:

Link to my blog comment yesterday on the same issue:

Link to the article in the Guardian newspaper:

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