It is such a shame that that people who make every effort to do what's right are not served well by the law of the land, and those who oversee it. The outcome of Debbie Purdey's action in the High Court today, whereby she has failed to get clarification the law on assisted suicide is totally unsatisfactory for two reasons.
First, as Debbie Purdey herself asks:
How can we make sure that we act within the law if they won't tell us in what circumstances they would prosecute?
What use is a 47 year old law on our statute books (or for that matter any law) if it is impossible to know whether your are abiding by it or not? While clarification may be extremely difficult, the issue is of such public interest that failure even to offer guidance as to how a process could be initiated whereby the law could be clarified is a moral dereliction of duty by the Law Lords. Washing their hands at this stage helps no one.
But more importantly it is a failure by the Law Lords on a human level to Debbie Purdey. By failing to provide guidance to this wonderfully brave woman, who is only trying to make sure her husband is not ensnared in criminal proceedings by her desire for a peaceful and dignified end to her life, the Law Lords have made the remaining time she has with her husband is far more traumatic than it need me.
The Law Lords should have realised that one person's struggle for some dignity was far more important than a strict following of their own role in interpreting law. Something is wrong with our legal system when unaccountable appointed Law Lords let down a desperate woman. Yes, the Law Lords are there to make judgement on the law, but more importantly they are there to serve us all and to see that justice is done...