Thursday 16 August 2012

An odd definition of "murder"

Via Paul Baird on Facebook, this article about a recent court ruling raises the question of how far the law should restrict personal freedom:

BBC News - Tony Nicklinson loses High Court right-to-die case

Paul B posted thus:
A very difficult case, but I cannot agree that this is the right outcome. The question must surely include his own wishes, the possibility of improvement and the quality of his life.

In denying him the right to die have we condemned him to a living death instead ? I think that we have, and we have no right to do so.
...and I added a comment:
It's disgraceful. I can't decide whether the judge was too afraid of making a controversial ruling, or was hiding behind the notion that it would be a "slippery slope" or "thin end of the wedge" to allow a doctor to grant this patient's request.

Those supporting the decision are saying it's not for the court to change the law, and that it's for Parliament to decide if the law should be changed. But unless some controversial court decisions are actually made, Parliament will do nothing.

"For someone else to kill him would amount to murder." I'd be interested to hear the definition of "murder" that fits this particular case.

"The law is well established..." I don't see why a court can't make an exception on the basis of mitigating circumstances, while still making it clear that it is, precisely, an exception.
At the time of writing there are two other comments as well.