The Queen on the Application of Pretty v. Director of Public Prosecutions (Secretary of State for the Home Department as Interested Party)
United Kingdom Human Rights Reports 2002; : 97-121
Court Decision:  EWHC Admin 788; 2001 October 18. The Queen's Bench Division held that the European Convention on Human Rights did not require the state to provide crimina immunity to a third party who assists in the suicide of a terminally ill person. Diane Pretty suffered from degenerative neurological disease and wished to commit suicide at some point in the future. Because of her condition, she could not do so without assistance. Mrs. Pretty asked the court to enjoin the Director of Public Prosecutions from prosecuting her husband for the crime of assisting another to commit suicide. She argued that her condition was akin to torture and that the Convention imposed an obligation on the state to protect her from that torture. As death was the only release she believed was available, teh state may not interfere with her attempt to commit suicide by prosecuting her husband. Additionally, she asserted her right to privacy and bodily integrity. The court disagreed and held that the Convention's right to be free from torture and right to privacy must be balanced against the community's interest in affording life proper respect and dignity. [KIE/ECL]
Great Britain. England and Wales. Supreme Court of Judicature, High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court
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