Falconer: Judge can't make suicide law
Lord Falconer has said a High Court judge was right to say Parliament should decide whether or not doctors should be able to help a disabled man die without fear of prosecution.
The former Lord Chancellor said such a law had the potential for "abuse". He added that "locked-in syndrome" sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who is campaigning for his right to die in the courts, is a unique case because he is clearly certain that he wants to end his life.
"The judges can't make this law, its got to be made by Parliament," he said. "Part of it has got to be about the state protecting people from abuse. One of the great protections, ultimately, is it is you that takes you own life, rather than somebody else taking your life because if somebody else takes your life then you're not the person ultimately in control of that last step."
A High Court ruling earlier stated that it is for Parliament, not the judiciary to change the law on assisted suicide. Rejecting cases from Mr Nicklinson, who is paralysed from the neck down, and another man known as ‘Martin’, the judge said: "A decision to allow their claims would have consequences far beyond the present cases. To do as Tony wants, the court would be making a major change in the law.
"It is not for the court to decide whether the law about assisted dying should be changed and, if so, what safeguards should be put in place.
"Under our system of government these are matters for Parliament to decide."