Law and religion round-up – 22nd November

Assisted dying, charities and wills, abortion in Sweden, excavating graves, registering US Muslims – and  what looks like developing into a minor cause célèbre

‘Minimally conscious’ MS sufferer to be allowed to die

The BBC reported that the Court of Protection had decided to grant an application to withdraw clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration from a 68-year-old woman in the end stage of multiple sclerosis but in what was described as a minimally-conscious state. The woman’s daughter, who made the application, said that her mother was “completely incapacitated”. Hayden J said that he found himself “contemplating a serious and important development in the evolution of the case law in the absence of opposing arguments” and that he was “instinctively uncomfortable with that situation” [64].

The judgment has been posted on BAILII: N, Re [2015] EWCOP 76: if and when we get our heads round it, we shall post a note.

Judicial review of DPP’s assisted suicide policy

In contrast to the above, the High Court heard a petition for judicial review of the DPP’s policy on Cases of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide, as amended in October 2014 at the direction of the Supreme Court. Lawyers acting for disability rights campaigners have accused Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, of amending her prosecution policy for assisted dying cases in a flawed and “whimsical” way.  Continue reading