Assisted suicide: The key factors

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer today published the factors that will weigh in favour of and against future prosecutions for assisting suicide.



Suspects would be less likely to face charges if:

* The victim had a "clear, settled and informed wish" to commit suicide, which they had "indicated unequivocally" and in person, to the suspect;

* The victim had a terminal illness, a severe and incurable physical disability or a severe degenerative condition from which there was no possibility of recovery;

* The suspect was the victim's wife or husband, partner, close relative or close personal friend and they were in a long-term and supportive relationship;

* The suspect provided only "minor" assistance or influence.



Charges would be more likely if the above factors were not fulfilled and:

* The victim was under 18 years old;

* The victim had a mental illness or learning disability that affected the ability to decide to end his or her life;

* The suspect was not wholly motivated by compassion, but by the prospect that they could benefit from the death;

* The suspect "persuaded, pressured or maliciously encouraged" the victim to commit suicide, or improperly influenced their dec

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