Posted by: Witch Doctor | August 31, 2010

A test case in the public interest?


In February of this year The Witch Doctor suspected there was a case brewing that would test English law on “assisted suicide.”

Here is the post.


If you wanted to test the robustness of the law regarding euthanasia (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter) or assisted suicide then it seems reasonable to choose situations where the generation of pubic ‘compassion’ might be used as a tool.

It appears there may be such a case pending.

Who would be so lacking in compassion that they would put an 83 year old, who may have been acting through compassion, through court and a prison sentence?


This arrest took place after the interim guidelines were released last year.


“A RETIRED Scottish GP who advised an academic on how to kill herself was last night released on bail by police after six hours of interrogation.

Dr Libby Wilson was the first person to be arrested since the publication of new guidelines on assisted suicide and she accused the authorities of an “appalling waste of public money and police time and effort”.

The retired doctor, 83, is a right who runs the organisation Friends at the End, which advises terminally ill people how to take their own lives, as well as helping to arrange trips to Dignitas, the Swiss clinic”


“Under current legislation, Dr Wilson, who made the 450-mile journey from her home in Glasgow over the weekend, could face a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

A police spokesman said: ‘An 83-year-old woman attended Woking Police Station this morning by appointment.

‘She was arrested in connection with the death of Cari Loder.’

Announcing the changes on Thursday, Mr Starmer stated that charges should not be brought if the person who dies has a ‘clear, settled and informed wish to commit suicide’ but people who put pressure on somebody or gain financially will face prosecution.

The move came after the Law Lords backed multiple sclerosis sufferer Debbie Purdy’s call for a policy statement on whether people who help someone kill themselves should be prosecuted.

More than 100 Britons have ended their lives at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, but until recently, friends or relatives who accompany them have not known if they are going to face prosecution.

A man in his 70s from the Godalming area of Surrey, and a man in his 50s from West London, have already been arrested on suspicion of helping Ms Loder end her life.”


“Her interest in v.e came into sharper focus when her husband died in 1977. He had been a professor of medicine and knew exactly what was happening when he was dying of stomach cancer. The heroic surgery failed. Before this, working as a part-time G.P. for 18 years, Libby rarely came into close contact with death. But human issues had always concerned her. She can feel justifiably proud of fighting the good fight on women’s issues where she has worked in community care, providing support for prostitutes and rape victims and, in the area of her especial expertise, contraceptive advice. Controversy is no stranger to her and she hopes she lives to see v.e. reform.”

“Regretfully, Dr Wilson was expelled from the society after a referendum from the members. She is no longer a member.”

Yes, My Black Cat, playing the Compassion Ace Card in unintended ways could ultimately cause the legal system as we now know it to tilt on its axis.


My Black Cat has been wondering why Dr Wilson was expelled from EXIT (formally known as The Scottish Voluntary Euthanasia Society). She wondered if it might be to do with the fact she was willing to knowingly break the law regarding assisted suicide and Exit are not in favour of this approach. MBC could be wrong about this, of course, as witches cats often are.

The case has now been brought before The Crown Prosecution Service.

The CPS felt there was enough evidence to prosecute but chose not to do so.

“The woman admitted giving advice to Caroline Loder and this act itself is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. However, when considering the public interest we have balanced the factors tending in favour and against a prosecution. In this case the woman was 83 years old and the assistance she provided was minimal, in that she gave some advice. Ms Loder had plainly intended to commit suicide, and there is no evidence that the advice given contributed significantly to the outcome. It has been concluded a prosecution of the woman is not required in the public interest.”

It should be remembered that this woman is a doctor who knows the law, she is not a relative of the deceased, and it would be difficult to prove what she did was out of compassion since apparently she had never met the deceased.

She is, however, in her 80’s.

However, in The Witch Doctor’s opiion she should have gone on trial.


Because this doctor is not any old dearie, who gave advice on the spur of the moment. She is a doctor who has had a lifelong association with the Voluntary Euthanasia cause, she knew exactly the legal implications of what she was doing, she was expelled from “Exit” possibly because of her views, she set up a group “Friends at the End” (FATE.) It is likely she saw herself as a test case that she would probably win.

Furthermore there is another Council Member of FATE who is also a doctor.

His name is Dr Michael Irwin.

It is likely this is the same Dr Michael Irwin”

“Irwin, who was President of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies from 2002-2004, and a Director of that organisation from 2004-2006, has also been Chair (1996-1999, 2001-2003) of the British Volunary Euthanasia Society (now known as Dignity in Dying).

In 2003, Irwin hit the headlines after he was arrested following his confession that he had tried to assist a terminally ill friend to die. No charges followed, but in 2005 he was struck off the medical register after an inquiry by the General Medical Council. He has also claimed to have helped at least 50 terminally ill patients to die.[1]

Secularism and Humanism

Irwin is a ‘distinguished supporter’ of the British Humanist Association.

Since 2005 Irwin has sponsored the National Secular Society’s £5000 Secularist of the Year award, which is known as the Irwin Prize. In 2006 he founded the Secular Medical Forum “

Both of these Doctors who are no longer practising have admitted helping people commit suicide. Both have an explicit agenda. Both have broken the law. Is there any reason why they will not do so again?

If this is not in “The Public Interest,” then I don’t know what is.

The Crown Prosecution Service has now changed the assisted suicide law from Red to Amber.

Soon, by precedent, the law will change to Green.

And the Humankind in this country who have not thought about this matter will not notice.

PS It may surprise you to know that The Witch Doctor’s Heart is as soft as butter. She has no desire to see an 84 year old, Libby Wilson, spend the rest of her days in prison  just because she has had a lifelong swarm of bees buzzing around in her bonnet.

But in the pubic interest she should have been tried, and if found guilty, appropriate leniency should have been demonstrated.

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  1. It looks as if Dr Shipman will one day held up as a pioneer in his field.

    A trial should occur. If not we are further down the slippery slope.

  2. […] founder member of Friends at the End was “the test case” Libby Wilson, who in the Witch Doctor’s opinion should have been, in the public interest, charged and tried in a […]


  4. […] And yet they have removed another pro-euthanasia member “Friends at the End.” […]

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