'Doctor Death' escapes charges

Chris Greenwood
Saturday 26 June 2010 00:00

A former GP nicknamed "Doctor Death" will not be prosecuted for assisting a terminally ill man to commit suicide.

Dr Michael Irwin, 79, paid £1,500 towards the cost of 58-year-old Raymond Cutkelvin's death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. He vowed to highlight the "hypocritical British system" surrounding euthanasia as he was arrested and questioned by police. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute him but it would not be in the public interest.

Mr Cutkelvin, of Hackney, east London, was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour of the pancreas in 2006 and died the following year.

Mr Starmer said no criminal complaint had been made about his death. He added the dead man was "strong-minded" and made an "informed decision" to commit suicide "without any pressure".

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