Lawyer attacked on mercy killings

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The Independent Online
A LEADING LAWYER was attacked yesterday after suggesting that parents of Down's syndrome sufferers could be driven to the "mercy killing" of their "Mongol" children.

Sir Louis Blom-Cooper QC admitted he had been wrong to use the offensive term for Down's syndrome sufferers, saying: "It just shows you how old I am." But he angered the Down's Syndrome Association by insisting that there could be mercy killings of sufferers. Sir Louis rejected furious calls that he should quit public life.

Speaking on Radio 4, the 72-year-old former barrister said: "Murder ... is of course very serious. But events themselves have to be looked at quite separately ... You can get at one end the outrageous serial killing, at the other end you can get the mercy killing - somebody killing their Mongol child, for example - which arouses the greatest sympathy."

Carol Boys, director of the association, said: "To suggest that taking the life of somebody with Down's syndrome is understandable and not a serious crime is the most dangerously ignorant opinion I have ever heard. It is terrifying that this man is part of the British legal system and I call on him to resign immediately."