Pretty v United Kingdom

  • Author: GYLA


Diane Pretty was suffering from motor neurone disease - a degenerative disease affecting the muscles, for which there is no cure. She was paralysed from the neck down, had little decipherable speech and was fed by a tube. Pretty wanted her husband to provide her with assistance in suicide. However, under the UK law this act would make her husband criminally liable. The European Court of Human Rights found no violation of articles 2 (right to life), 3 (prohibition of torture), 8 (right to respect for private and family life), 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court concluded that Article 2 of the European Convention does not include the right to die, whether at the hands of a third person or with the assistance of a public authority. As regards Pretty's right to respect for private life under Article 8, the Court considered that in this case the interference was justified as “necessary in a democratic society” for the protection of the rights of others.

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