13 Euthanasia C 2 (2)

Euthanasia Tourism The legalisation of assisted suicide in some countries has created euthanasia tourism, where people will travel to other jurisdictions to die under a legalised scheme. 1
Local Authority v Z Mrs Z: cerebellar ataxia. She had made a decision to travel from Britain to Switzerland to seek euthanasia, after a failed suicide attempt. Her family came to support her decision. Mr Z agreed to help her travel to Switzerland. • The local welfare authority was informed and sought an injunction to prevent her from being allowed to leave the country. The evidence: Mrs Z fully understood the nature of her decision and that there was no undue influence on the part of her family. 2
Local Authority v Z • Hedley J: the presumption in favour of Mrs Z's competence might have been rebutted if she was unable to "assimilate the issues, or fully appreciate the consequences, or was being unduly influenced by the views of others or by undue concern for the burden that her condition imposed on others". • However, evidence: she was fully cognisant of these factors. • Mr Z's proposal to help Mrs Z travel to Switzerland was considered by the judge to be assisting a suicide. Nevertheless, the judge found: no duty on the part of the authority to prevent Mrs Z from travelling and the question of whether Mr Z should be prosecuted was one for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). 3
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