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Law change ruled out after Chalfont man ends his life  

 Published on: 9th March 2019   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A law change on assisted suicide has been ruled out by the government after a Chalfont St Peter man went to Switzerland to end his life.  

Geoff Whaley, 80, went to a Dignitas clinic in Switzerland last month as he started to lose his battle with motor neurone disease.  

The retired accountant was supported by his wife, Ann, however she faced questions from Thames Valley Police over her involvement.  

She faced no action over Geoff’s decision to end his life but Ann has been campaigning for assisted suicide to be made legal in the UK.  

However, that campaign has hit the buffers despite support from Baroness Meacher who, during a Lords question time, said: “In a civilised society someone in Geoff Whaley’s position should be able to avoid months of being unable to swallow, unable to eat, to drink, to speak, to move, totally cut off from communication.” 

Although in response advocate general, Lord Keen, said the government has no intention of changing the law. He said: “It is not the intention of the Government to seek to change the law in this area. 

“Every case has to be considered according to its own particular facts and circumstances. I readily acknowledge that many of these cases are extremely tragic.” 

Lord Keen went on to say the Government was conscious of the difficulties and challenges facing people with a terminal illness. 

He said that of 140-odd cases referred in the last nine years to the CPS, there were prosecutions in respect of the Suicide Act 1961 in only four, resulting in one acquittal and three convictions. 

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