London, England, Jan 14, 2022 / 14:07 pm
The Crown Prosecution Service, which brings criminal charges in England and Wales, is considering a proposal to examine “mercy killings” that would advise against charging those who assist in the deaths of gravely ill people who wish for assisted suicide or euthanasia if there is evidence that the person wanted to die.
The CPS is seeking the public's input as new guidelines are considered.
Max Hill, Director of Public Prosecutions, told the PA News Agency that in the case of “mercy killings,” “prosecution may be required, but there are circumstances where actually, even where you have the evidence, you may be able to move away from prosecution – for example, where there is evidence of a settled intention on the part of the victim that their life should come to an end, and that what happens is at the time of their choosing.”
"At one end of that spectrum, these are cases of murder – when you take somebody else’s life, it may not be at the victim’s time of choosing and they may not have reached a point, even if they’re sick, of deciding that they want their life to end… But at the other end of the spectrum, nobody wants to see a devoted husband or wife charged and going to court," Hill asserted in another interview.