Carol C. Cleary

Document Type



Debates over end-of-life issues and the “right to die” are becoming increasingly prevalent in many modern societies. In July 2009 the House of Lords addressed the question of whether the legal framework governing assisted suicide in the United Kingdom constitutes an unjustifiable infringement on privacy rights. The court decided that question in the affirmative, and this Note discusses the implications of Purdy v. Director of Public Prosecutions for the legality of assisted suicide in the United Kingdom. This Note uses evidence of legal developments in other jurisdictions that have grounded the right to assisted suicide in personal autonomy to argue that the Purdy court’s reasoning and the Director of Public Prosecution’s response to the decision paves the way for a gradual breakdown in restrictions on the practice.