Friday, July 31, 2009

Law Lords of death rule for assisted suicide

Debbie Purdy is fearfully and wonderfully made. The joy in her face is the thrilling exuberance of life: the ecstasy, the vibrancy, the vitality. It is life in all its beauty – the precious gift of the mysterious breath of God, still coursing through every vein and illuminating her eyes despite her debilitating multiple sclerosis.

She is ecstatic after a Law Lords’ ruling which paves the way for legally assisted suicide abroad, of which she says, apparently oblivious to the irony: 'This has given me my life back'.

Assisted suicide is a curious life to get back.

Giving judgment yesterday – their final one from the red benches of the House of Lords – Lord Hope, sitting with Lords Phillips, Brown and Neuberger and Baroness Hale, said it was no part of the Law Lords' function to decriminalise assisted suicide, which was up to Parliament. Their function was to say what the law is and, if uncertain, to clarify it. So this ruling has not changed the law on assisting suicide, which remains punishable by up to 14 years in jail. It relates specifically to ‘suicide tourism’, and now families who help terminally ill relatives to end their lives will be free from the risk of prosecution.

Is it not profoundly sad and disturbing that the final ruling of the Law Lords from the Chamber of the Upper House should be for death and destruction?

Rather like the legalisation of abortion, which was only ever intended to be performed in extremis, this will lead to all manner of unintended abuses. Miss Purdy's lawyers are already talking of the eventual legalisation of assistance for suicide in certain circumstances. They said a distinction will now be drawn between maliciously encouraging someone to kill themselves, which would continue to be prosecuted, and compassionately supporting someone's decision to die, which would not lead to legal action.

Can one not be compassionately malicious?

This is not just the thin end of a wedge. It is not even the tip of an iceberg. It is a legislative coup, driving a coach and horses through the Section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1861 – a sovereign Act of Parliament – without reference to that Parliament. Effectively, it has been decreed by judicial authority that it is lawful for somebody to help a person to commit suicide abroad but not in the UK. This amounts to a change in primary legislation. And it is an absurd and unsustainable distinction in any case, for British nationals should not be encouraged to pursue legally abroad what is illegal here: why not encourage cannabis smokers to journey to Amsterdam? Why not encourage paedophiles to journey to Thailand? Those who pursue the latter are extradited and prosecuted on their return to the UK: we do not 'assist' their predatory sexual perversion. To pretend that by permitting assisted suicide in Switzerland the UK somehow remains legislatively morally superior is absurd.

But of even greater significance is that Miss Purdy also won on a second point – the Law Lords said she had the right to choose how she died, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The ECHR is now deemed to grant one the right to determine how and when one may die. The ECHR has become God.

Now people will have the ultimate power to choose how and when they end their life, and it is a human right.

And yet Cranmer cannot but think these Law Lords to be spiritually undiscerning and morally deficient. For what message does this send to the vulnerable, the disabled and the seriously ill? Perhaps they should all pack their bags and jet off to Geneva with their Dignitas vouchers courtesy of their caring, compassionate and supportive families.

The sad case of Miss Purdy sets a dangerous precedent as far as the state is concerned: if you have MS, it is better to just get it over with. You will no longer be a burden to your relations or to the state. The NHS could save billions by no longer keeping alive people who have all manner of ailments and diseases.

Why not just end all suffering, for surely it is an infringement of one’s human rights?


Anonymous John Knox said...

Your grace, observe this outrageous shame before parliament:

Parliament banishes
Christmas carollers

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning said choirs in his constituency were told their singing 'inconvenienced' MPs at lunch.
Choirs banned from Parliaments as they put MPs off lunch (, 20 July 2009)
Library won't let church put up 'craft fair' poster (28 July 2009)
Foreign office consults on Christmas greetings (13 May 2009)
Mum told Christmas lights are offensive (16 December 2008)
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Choirs have been told they are no longer welcome to sing Christmas carols in areas of Parliament because it puts MPs off their lunch.

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning objected to the ban. The choirs come from his constituency and have entertained MPs and staff for the past four years.

He raised the matter as a point of order with Commons Speaker John Bercow.

Mr Penning said: “Last week, out of the blue, an email arrived in my office saying this would be banned in the future as it was inconveniencing members of the House during their lunch.

“Is this something you were aware of, and surely we should be encouraging young people into this House – not barring them.”

Mr Bercow said he was “not previously conscious” of the ruling and would investigate.
He told Mr Penning: “On the face of it, you and your constituents have reason to be disconcerted and I will certainly look into the matter.”

In May it was reported that the Foreign Office had launched a consultation on whether Christmas merited a special greeting for embassy officials, after Foreign Secretary David Miliband missed it last year but remembered Ramadan.

Last December a mother-of-three was left shocked when a housing officer suggested she should remove her Christmas lights because they might offend her non-Christian neighbours.

The previous month it had emerged that staff at Salisbury Council had been told not to ask people if they are “singing from the same hymn sheet” because the religious reference might offend atheists

31 July 2009 at 04:12  
Blogger Manfarang said...

I feel sure that the DPP can clarify the law about the activities of these Swiss nazi mercy killers.
Regarding your point about Thailand.The FBI have a special unit in Bangkok to track down foreign paedophiles and they do good work.Remember Mr.Swirly?

31 July 2009 at 07:27  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace, I received the impression that Debbie Purdy was given her life back because she intends to continue her existence to fight for a change in the law. So far all she has won is that the law regarding assisted suiced be clarified. It still might not go the way she hopes.

31 July 2009 at 08:36  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace: I've always understood that euphoria is characteristic of MS. The affect goes with the disease: actually, the patients are probably pretty depressed under it.

"[...]it is better to just get it over with. You will no longer be a burden to your relations or to the state. The NHS could save billions by no longer keeping alive people who have all manner of ailments and diseases." --- On this part of you post, Your Grace -- Oh yes.

I think we're well on the way to that one. All those uncontrollable infections running rampant through the wards - while some foreigner swirls up piles of dust and fluff all over everybody? "Clean-up time"!!!

I'm glad I'm at the far end of this being 'human' thing... I wouldn't like to go through what's coming. I really hope God doesn't ever send me back here. But on the way out? I'll do everything in my power to stay out of their hospitals and nursing homes.

31 July 2009 at 08:37  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Blessed are the vulnerable for they will be terminated.

Blessed are the disabled for their hardships will be ended.

Blessed are the seriously ill for their expensive drugs will be replaced by a final solution.

31 July 2009 at 08:57  
OpenID scottspeig said...

I feel they should re-look at the law and decide as someone wants clarification, to arrest all people who are guilty of assissted suicide, charge them and have them convicted. No more clarity needed.

On another note, why can't we have Dignitas doctors extradited and charged in this country? As they are performing on UK citizens??

31 July 2009 at 09:20  
Anonymous Pedant said...

Your Grace and I are both of an age to remember the old-style family doctor.

Aomng the mercies this estimable but now almost historic professional would provide was discreet assistance to those who no longer felt an overwhelming need to live, yet preferred not to wait indefinitely upon their own passing.

The family would be invited to leave the sick room. Some time later the doctor would emerge with gravity and sympathy upon his kindly old features. "I'm so sorry ..." he would murmur, and the mourning would begin.

This procedure was civilised and humane. It was generally practised, universally known, never spoken. We may blame the recent regrettable enthusiasm of Dr Harold Shipman for forcing an end to it, but in reality, one suspects, the fault lies in the jejune indecency of an age that has lost moral confidence and demands floods of light everywhere, and rulebooks for everything.

Three hundred years ago Bishop Taylor contemplated the dying man and asked sadly, "Who feels for thee with a pain sharp as is thine own?" Who indeed, outside Switzerland?

31 July 2009 at 09:20  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

I would be interested to know if there is a major consensus of opinion among people who are severely disabled, who would like the law changed to de-criminalise assisted suicide. I do not doubt that there are many disabled people who consider suicide, but apart from the odd one or two cases that reach the news, I do not see lots of people campaigning for this.

Feeling suicidal is obviously a major indicator that all is not well up in the CPU basket, and I don't think anyone really should be encouraging this. I can only imagine what suffering this lady goes through, and it must be a constant traumatic endurance. She is obviously fighting with grim outlook all the time, and her husband seems to be a positive type of man who probably encourages and supports her through this.

I have my own personal opinion about what is going on here, in their particular situation, but I do not want to say it. It is not something that can be simplified. But generally speaking, all this is one of a list of many things that are a sign of the times: People obsessed with material possessions, in such a world that our lives are being priced up and valued by some kind of mass production quality assurance department.

All I can say to this lady is that she could take courage from her own superior will and maybe lend it out to those who do not have it. If it is value she seeks to add to her nomenclature, she could use her talents in a better way to serve those she claims to fight for, which includes the 'value' of her own self. She is a lady of immense strength and courage, undeniably, and already her opinion would be valued and effective. If it is simply a question of empowerment then there are better ways of achieving this. With regards to life and death, ours is not the choice, it never has been: one either dies, or one is killed. In simple terms, there is a dier, and a killer.

31 July 2009 at 09:35  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I remember reading some pro-life literature in the 1980's which warned, quite prophetically it transpires, that once abortion was common place then euthanasia would follow, then infanticide. It is the inevitable consequence of the cheapening of life and of individualism. "Every man is an island ... no man's death diminishes me, because I am involved only in myself"

In a letter to the times, Prof Nigel Biggar summarises the moral abyss which we are creating: "If my life only has the value I accord to it, then it has no objective value; and if it has no objective value, then why should anyone else care for it? ... Libertarian logic undermines society's commitment to support fellow members in adversity - and encourages abandonment of the ailing"

31 July 2009 at 09:44  
Anonymous philip walling said...

I am baffled by Debbie Purdy's manner: hre apparent elation, and the contradiction (as YG points out) between 'getting her life back' and being allowed to end it (she thinks).
There is nothing that English law can do to stop her committing suicide; the criminal law is simply designed to prevent someone murdering or being an accessory to it, and that hasn't changed.
So what is she so pleased about?
Either her MS causes her to appear elated or she is delighted with something? (Or possibly both I suppose)
I noticed on the news the husband walking along dutifully but saying nothing. What does he think about it as he's going to have to be involved in killing her? Is she simply pleased to be getting 'her own way'? Is it an act of self-will? She wants 'control'?
I am at a loss. Could someone please explain her real motivation?

31 July 2009 at 09:48  
Anonymous Brian E. said...

"The Law Lords said she had the right to choose how she died".
Using this right, I have decided that rather than dying in bed in pain like most of my ancestors, I would wish to shoot myself using a suitable hand-gun as I don't fancy being poisoned in a Swiss Clinic.
Are the government now depriving me of this human right by not letting me own such a gun?
It would be lovely to have enough money to argue this in court, but it does show the complications that arise when the Lords start to rule on human rights.

31 July 2009 at 09:54  
Blogger remf said...

The dangers in this area has be very well covered by Dave Emory in America over the last ten years, and Lyndon LaRouche more recently. Ironic comments are not really appropriate and not welcome. You should look at the people who are pushing it, and not at the cases that hit the headlines. Hitler killed the first case on compassionate grounds.

31 July 2009 at 10:07  
Anonymous Brian E. said...

A second thought:
Debbie Purdy claims that she is now in control of her own life. She is no more in control now than she was previously, as in practice her husband is in control of it. It is he who will give assistance if required and make the necessary arrangements and she believes that he will do her bidding. But in the limit, would he do so?

Whilst it is difficult to know what would be one's reactions to a situation which hasn't arisen, I find it hard to believe that I would be able to assist my own wife to kill herself. I would hope that the medical profession is still sufficiently compassionate to ensure that under similar circumstances, she dies in familiar surroundings, free of pain.

31 July 2009 at 10:07  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

Your Grace, and communicants, there is an excellent piece in Ruth Gledhill today about this. It also seems that part of my question was answered in a poll last week, which shows an overwhelming support for a change in the law. It still does not surprise me though that a poll of normal healthy people would show support to 'get rid' of the inconveniently sick in our society. Has anyone seen the movie Beach? This guy gets attacked by a shark and is badly wounded. His cries of agony eventually results in a consensus of opinion that he should be dumped in the woods...out of sight, out of mind. Surely we are better than a load of drop out hippies who cannot see outside of their own narcissistic and selfish hedonistic obsessions?

31 July 2009 at 10:12  
Blogger Lallands Peat Worrier said...

Just some points of clarification. The coach-trodden Art is the Suicide Act 1961. Importantly, this enactment only applies to England and Wales. It is therefore impossible cleanly to generalise about the "UK" position.

31 July 2009 at 10:13  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace

This is all very sad

... but it is also very predictable

and it will end in tears

Your Grace's obedient servant etc


31 July 2009 at 10:19  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Rebel Saint (09:44)—...once abortion was commonplace then euthanasia would follow...

This is an extract from an article by Dr Herbert Hendin on the Psychiatric Times website:

Concern over charges of abuse led the Dutch government to undertake studies of the practice [of euthanasia] in 1990, 1995 and in 2001 in which physicians' anonymity was protected and they were given immunity for anything they revealed. Violations of the guidelines then became evident. Half of Dutch doctors feel free to suggest euthanasia to their patients, which compromises the voluntariness of the process. Fifty percent of cases were not reported, which made regulation impossible. The most alarming concern has been the documentation of several thousand cases a year in which patients who have not given their consent have their lives ended by physicians. A quarter of physicians stated that they "terminated the lives of patients without an explicit request" from the patient. Another third of the physicians could conceive of doing so.

•Johnny Rottenborough•

31 July 2009 at 12:01  
Anonymous Tom Paine said...

Be fair to libertarians, Rebel Saint. You quote with approval the following half-baked observation;

"... Libertarian logic undermines society's commitment to support fellow members in adversity - and encourages abandonment of the ailing..."

This is rubbish. The root law of all, in libertarian thought, is "do not initiate violence." For this reason, as a libertarian, I do not want the law changed.

Let's at least use the right words to discuss this. This discussion is not about the "right to die", which is already well-established. It is about the right to participate in killing.

I believe in the sanctity of life and neither want to be pressured into being an accessory to murder, nor (if I were the suffering patient) to pressure others to commit it. Nor, whether as a dying man or a man watching a loved one die, do I want the medics muttering about bed-blockers or the heirs looking impatient. I promise you, if the law is changed, many will be murdered under the pretext of "assisted suicide" and many more will consent only because they despair to see how many around them think they are too much trouble alive.

31 July 2009 at 12:29  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

@ Jim Bartlett
When I lived in the country the only people I ever saw help
anyone out when roads flooded or
when bush fires jumped paddocks
were drop out hippies.The rich
farmers were very discriminating about who they helped.I have only know kindness from them.When I was
stranded in a flood once numerous
expensive 4 wheel drives failed to stop and I was saved by some hippies so I am in their debt.

31 July 2009 at 13:13  
Anonymous Simon said...

So in yesterday's post His Grace laments the separation of the judiciary and the legislature.

And in today's post, the act of the Law Lords (as His Grace notes that they still are) "... is a legislative coup, driving a coach and horses through the section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1861 - a sovereign Act of Parliament - without reference to that Parliament. Effectively, it has been decreed by a judicial authority..... This amounts to a change in primary legislation"

Well, you can't have it both ways can you ? Doesn't this just demonstrate the separation coming in to effect shortly doesn't actually make any difference ? Or does it only matter when they disagree with His Grace ?

31 July 2009 at 13:22  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

It is His Grace's human right to have whatever he wishes both ways.

31 July 2009 at 13:30  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

I don't usually agree with Your Grace, and don't on assisted dying: i incline to the view this should be legalised here in certain circumstances.

I'm not sure I'd agree with everything Your Grace says about the judgment, either: the Lords do say the Suicide Act interferes with the right to respect for private life. You might not like that, but it's pretty legally uncontroversial. I don't think, though, that they clearly say it breaches the right, though, which is slightly different. In fact according to the ruling there is no such breach as long as the DPP issues guidance.

But I do agree with your concern about how the Lords have gone about this. My post about it is here:

I agree, they've found a clever way of narrowing the ambit of the legislation, in reality, without appearing to do so. The alternatives would have been to send Debbie Purdy away with nothing, to rule the Suicide Act incompatible with the right to respect for private life, or to expressly interpret it as not applying in situations such as hers - I think the Lords have been afraid of the ramifications of those options, and have chosen to fudge it.

31 July 2009 at 13:55  
Blogger Bill Quango MP said...

Your Grace, if you could spare a moment of your valuable time.
I am in need of some 16th century perspective to explore a metaphor.
Yours respectfully..
Bill Quango MP.

Do you work for the Military or the Church?

31 July 2009 at 14:00  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

You are indebted to the people who helped you out, not a classification of weird and lazy people.

31 July 2009 at 15:45  
Anonymous merely a mouse said...

Some of our 'friends' and 'caregivers' may be more than willing to kill us - law or no law. I think modern 'arts' - TV, literature, theatre - have made violence a commonplace and the sight of dead bodies into something to enjoy.

Still, though - do we have the right to assist them to become murderers? I am devastated because I just had my old and very sick dog euthanized. I wouldn't put her through any more treatment and drugs, and it did seem to be easiest for her: all her systems had shut down after chemo, and she could neither eat nor drink.

We also have the option to stop eating and drinking. Some may say that's suicide - but perhaps it's not, when we're incapable of caring for ourselves, or getting the food, etc. Under those circumstances life is supported by external agencies, and we'd die naturally without them. Under those circumstances, there's no need to administer a quicker death.

So why put the power, the responsibility, and the blame - on others?

31 July 2009 at 15:50  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

If my life is somehow saved by the indiscriminate act of a sheep, I may keep it as a pet and provide a pleasant life for it, but lamb chops and mint sauce will still be on the menu.

31 July 2009 at 15:51  
Anonymous merely a mouse said...

Well, Mr. Bartlet - not from my little lamb! Though for this, I think we say Grace before eating! And for this we take Holy Communion ... which might exercise our feeble minds, as St. Augustine called them.

Little lamb who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight -
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, I'll tell thee,
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a lamb;
He is meek and he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child and thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little lamb, God bless thee,
Little lamb, God bless thee.

But also:
The modest rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat'ning horn;
While the lily white shall in love delight,
Not a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.
(All William Blake)

31 July 2009 at 16:44  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I dont know if I should include the mass economic suicide that this goverment has achieved , but a little known fact about the Belgian situation should prick some ears up .

It seems as though as you opt for euthanasia , it takes three doctors but the death certificate is then signed off as "died of natural causes" .This is to protect the persons Human rights from others knowing they were euthanaised .

I thought mmm so realtives would be none the wiser , but then again the insurance company would be either , all sorts of oppertunities then for bending things then ??

save Gary Mckinnon as well !

31 July 2009 at 17:10  
Anonymous jock said...

I don't think I've ever seen anyone so deliriously happy at the prospect of being euthanased.

Obviously it is preferable to being put in an aged care facility
which must be a fate worse than death.Maybe if the NHS funded these
facilities satisfactorily citizens
wouldn't need to kill themselves.

31 July 2009 at 17:17  
Blogger Edgar said...

That you compare this woman's family and friends with paedophiles is demonstration of how religious doublethink perverts an individual's humanity and decency.

31 July 2009 at 17:31  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Yes, Mr N.A. Machine, save Gary Mckinnon as well!
How can it not be an infringement of his human rights to be turned over for 'trial' to the American system of 'justice' when the 'crime' was committed in England and the way they treat 'criminals' in America is nothing less than monstrous.
He is entitled to look to the Crown for protection from foreign powers that would act unfairly and oppressively against him. The extradition law was passed in Britain by a craven government after Sept. 11th. to deal with terrorists. It is clear that British judges are powerless to protect us, and the government won't, so where do we look for protection?
The French would never allow one of theirs to be taken to America, so why do we?
The viciousness with which the US courts treat people they deem to have breached their laws is breathtakingly cruel.
Even Madoff's fraud could never warrant the 150 year fantasy sentence he received; any malefactor ought to have a reasonable prospect of serving the sentence he is given.
Two years would have been enough for Madoff, with a property confiscation order. He would be ruined and shamed and never work again.
You can, said Dostoevsky, judge a country by how it treats those who have broken its rules.

31 July 2009 at 17:53  
Blogger ZZMike said...

There's probably a fine line between saying that if suicide is a right, and therefore people ought to be able to exercize it, and that since it's a right, government ought to be able to give it to you when it decides that your "quality of life" requires it. (cf. German "Lebensunwertes Leben")

One problem with this debate, this issue, is that we're trying to make law, applicable to all, on the basis of particular examples.

It happens all the time here in the US. Mr X finds himself in some awkward situation or other, and we pass a law about it.

Law from the top should deal in generalities, not Mr X's predicament.

The other Big Example concerns abortion. Miss X has been raped by an escapee from the Asylum for the Criminally Insane. I would be hard-pressed to argue against abortion in that case.

But it makes no sense to use that example to make a Law that says that abortion shall never be restricted.

If a man is in the throes of a devastating disease, one that results in constant, unendurable pain, and would rather "be done with it", I would be hard-pressed to argue him out of it.

But it makes no sense to use his example to make a Law that says that suicide shall never be prevented.

As Rottenborough points out, patients who are at death's door can easily be persuaded by doctors or other "health professionals" to kill themselves - or let themselves be killed by practitioners of the healing art.

merely a mouse:

"Little lamb who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?"

Mr Blake, in another place:

"TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?"

31 July 2009 at 18:01  
Blogger Jim Bartlet said...

Sheep - Mint Sauce - Lamb Chops - Floods - Bush Fires - Paedophiles - Tigers - Paddocks - Hippies - Half-Baked Observations - Coach-Trodden Art - Lyndon LaRouche - Hitler - Christmas Carollers - Euthanasia.

Early night for me tonight.

31 July 2009 at 18:14  
Blogger English Viking said...

I understand that the glorious edict 'Thou shalt not kill' will not hold much sway with many in the medical profession, but surely they must remember the 'Do no harm' part of their hippocratic oath?

31 July 2009 at 19:14  
Blogger UKViewer said...

The Law Lords have now performed a service for those inclined to encourage sick or vulnerable family members to end their life, knowing that they can do it with impunity.

Giving potential murderers a free hand is not what the legal system is there for.

The right to life is sufficiently written into the Bible, we do not need Human Rights legislation to tell us that.

Of course, millions of lives have been ended through abortion, legally over the years, which defies the right to life of all of those aborted.

In the meantime, science is doing its best to create life artifically.

It stinks and the stench will never go away.

31 July 2009 at 19:14  
Blogger apodeictic said...

Your Grace,
I share your dismay about many aspects of their Lordships' recent decision. However, there is one point your otherwise insightful analysis overlooked and which I have taken the opportunity to blog on myself. If you or any of your readers care to read it you are most welcome do so at my own humble weblog.

In brief the argument is as follows: Putting aside for an instant the emotionally charged question of whether assisted suicide should in the first instance be lawful or illegal, let us consider the effect of their Lordships' decision on the right of would-be offenders under the criminal law to demand the DPP tell them when he will prosecute them.

Their Lordships effectively said that would-be criminals have a legal right to demand the DPP to tell them the circumstances under which prosecutions will be brought, thereby making it possible for the more clever of their kind to plan a crime that will avoid prosecution. That is a most perverse ruling by their Lordships. Imagine a would-be murderer asking the court for the same "clarification" and the decision is exposed for what it is. Should someone contemplating murdering her husband to get her hands on the life insurance be entitled to go to court and demand that the Director of Public Prosecutions "clarify" his prosecution practice so that would-be offenders will know in advance of their crime those instances in which they are more likely to avoid prosecution?

Once you do that you invite people to commit crimes on the basis that they will not be prosecuted for committing the crime in the "right" way. This undermines the deterrent effect of the criminal law. It is not the rule of law but a state of lawlessness which their Lordships' decision promotes.

Ashamed to be a lawyer after their Lordships' most recent aberration and your humble communicant,

31 July 2009 at 19:19  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Edgar said..."That you compare this woman's family and friends with paedophiles is demonstration of how religious doublethink perverts an individual's humanity and decency."

His Grace did no such thing. He extended the legal precedent being set to other comparable situations in law.

I, on the other had, am unambiguously comparing you to a rectum. Hope that is free enough of religious doublethink for you.

31 July 2009 at 19:36  
Anonymous merely a mouse said...

ZZ - Yes!!
My gentlest of dogs elicited my Blake attack, of course!

But it got me re-thinking Innocence and Experience (What are they? Are the 2 compatible? --> Or... is their co-existence in human nature maybe like Christ's Humanity, Divinity, and Crucifixion--a paradox containing it's own solution?)

Anyway, methinks Blake expanded on the Tiger in DIVINE IMAGE:

Cruelty has a human heart
And jealousy a human face;
Terror the human form divine,
And secrecy the human dress.

The human dress is forged iron,
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace sealed
The human heart a hungry gorge.

31 July 2009 at 20:15  
Anonymous Bethel said...

Possibly the worst load of rubbish I have yet seen on Your Grace's variable website.

31 July 2009 at 22:05  
Anonymous Faust's Audience said...

Apparently some Humanists out there are already Dead - to sublimity as a vehicle of excellence in literature!

Even if they despise Longinus, or Patristic doctrine, they refuse even to reconcile themselves to the Sublime via Hegel, it would seem!! You know: All difference presupposes unity? Duality and Unity are blended in unconsciousness...We define Life by Death, e.g.? ?
Or his Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis||e.g. Depression-Euphoric Affect||MS?

Gosh - even Zizek admitted the existence of Sublime Objects!

1 August 2009 at 01:26  
Anonymous Faust's Audience said...

i.e. e.g. Depression-Euphoric Affect-MS...

1 August 2009 at 01:28  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Jim Bartlett am wondering how your life could be saved by an indiscriminate act of a sheep unless of course you are a New

1 August 2009 at 03:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, it is OK for me to murder me, but a crime for me to murder you. And a crime for you to murder me, unless I already want to murder me, when you can help things along? Sweet.

Dear, dear, me. We have become monsters.

1 August 2009 at 03:14  
Anonymous P Laureate said...

Bethel's right.Blake is a seriously
overrated poet and only appeals to
'Fawning fawning crocodiles..

1 August 2009 at 08:05  
Anonymous Brian E. said...

When I wrote my post yesterday about wishing to die by shooting myself, I thought that I was making a purely hypothetical case. It was later that I read in the Daily Mail that a man faces jail for giving his father a handgun to kill himself in hospital. So it now seems that a quiet suicide outside the UK is acceptable, but to do so in a messy manner in an NHS bed is definitely not done. So much for Debbie Purdy's freedom of choice.

1 August 2009 at 09:48  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

As a doctor treating cancer I have often been asked to assist suicide.I have always refused. It has always been possible to treat the symptoms that give rise to the request. As a patients suffering from cancer, there have been times when I wanted to die. Today I am symptom free, my mind is working well. I am so glad that nobody believed me when I expressed my despair.

The DPP should clarify the law. Anyone who assists suicide is guilty of homicide. There are circumstances when it would be impossible to secure a conviction and in those cases the DPP would not bring a case. Just like any other murderer those assisting suicide would just have to take the risk. After all with our limp justice system a lot of murderers do get away with it.

1 August 2009 at 10:40  
Anonymous jock said...

'Just like any other murderer those assisting suicide would just have to take the risk' and also any doctor who allows anyone to die in excruciating agony is a monster and deserves to be damned to hell and its torments for eternity.

1 August 2009 at 13:39  
Anonymous Faust's Audience said...

P Laureate - Your poetic affect may be sublimely opposite to some psychological condition, but you synthesise no support for your negative claims.

I checked the "poetry" published under your present-day title.

The only relevance I found to this strand was that you nearly Murdered me with filth, obscurity, and incompetence. I then nearly Murdered Myself out of disgust and shame that the Land of the Anglo-Saxon poets, Harley Lyrics, Gawain Poet, Chaucer, Baldwin, Cranmer, Shakespeare, Marlowe, KJV (and even Douay-Rheims), Donne, Milton, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Shelley, and Tennyson - (et al) - should have descended to its post-modern level of vacuity.

I bet nobody can even quote 'wots-its name' now, let alone in several hundred years time.

If the world's still around then, though, some historian will probably mention the euthanasia issue. Hmmm. Wonder how they'll view it?

1 August 2009 at 14:44  
Anonymous P Laureate said...

A poet laureate doesn't have to support negative claims about lesser poets.Even Manfarang is a better poet than Blake. So my poetry almost drove you to suicide.Nice! I've heard that it
is having a similar effect on many others as well.Historians will probably view euthansia and my poetry on a par with 'Dancing with the stars'in several hundred years

2 August 2009 at 10:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely it is relevant that those who go to Amsterdam and smoke cannabis in Amsterdam are NOT prosecuted on their return to the UK. Of course such prosecutions would be near impossible, however, there is no real desire to undertake such prosecutions amongst the police or the CPS. And as there have been no prosecutions there have been no legal rulings on this matter. So perhaps the Police are themselves contravening "primary legislation".

6 August 2009 at 16:50  

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