Judges could routinely be given the power of life or death over patients who are determined to die to end their suffering.
Proposals to use judges as the final arbiters of who can be helped to die go some way to satisfying opponents to Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill. Lord Pannick QC proposed judicial oversight in amendments to the Bill which went before the House of Lords yesterday. The Lords, in the first Parliamentary vote on the Bill, gave it their approval.
Baroness Butler-Sloss, former head of the High Court Family Division, was among critics of the Bill who said giving judges a crucial role in assisted dying cases could provide the safeguards needed. [Full text]