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Assisted Suicide

Volume 403: debated on Thursday 10 April 2003

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To ask the Solicitor-General when a decision will be made on whether to bring charges in relation to the assisted suicide of Mr. Reginald Crew in Switzerland. [108003]

Merseyside police have conducted an investigation into the circumstances of the death of Mr. Crew and have decided that there is insufficient evidence of an offence to seek the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions to a prosecution under section 2(1) Suicide Act 1961.

To ask the Solicitor-General what plans the DPP has to institute proceedings under section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 against (a) organisations providing information on overseas assisted suicide organisations and (b) publishers or distributors of self-deliverance manuals; and what criteria he applies in the latter cases.[108004]

The decision to prosecute an offence under the Suicide Act, as in all cases, is taken in the light of all the evidence available, following an investigation conducted by the police. The DPP has not been asked for advice on whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute organisations who provide information on assisted suicide or the publishers or distributors of self-deliverance manuals. The criteria the DPP applies in all cases is contained in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The code can be viewed at