Publication of the DPP Assisted Suicide Guidelines: Comment from the Archbishop of Cardiff

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“I welcome the revised Guidelines published by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) this morning. He was given a near impossible task by the Law Lords and many people were extremely concerned by the wording of the interim guidelines and some of the factors to be taken into account against prosecution.

“In issuing these Guidelines it is clear that the DPP has listened very carefully to, and taken account of, the many representations made to him during the consultation. Our particular concerns were that the interim Guidelines gave less protection under the law to disabled or seriously ill people, and to those who had a history of suicide attempts and were likely to try again. There also appeared to be a presumption that a spouse or close relative would always act simply out of compassion and never from selfish motives. These factors have been removed from the new Guidelines which now give greater protection to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. There is also a greater stress on the fact that the law has not changed, that all cases will be investigated and that no one is being given immunity from prosecution under these Guidelines.”

The Most Reverend Peter Smith, Archbishop of Cardiff
Chair of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Department of Responsibility and Citizenship


Policy for Prosecutors in Respect of Cases of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide