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Isle of Man police take “No further action”

The Isle of Man police take “No further action” in the case against Patricia Kneen and Dr. Michael Irwin (former Chairman of VES England & Wales), concerning the death of Patrick Kneen.In November 2003, Mrs. Patricia Kneen was arrested for conspiring to bring about the suicide of her terminally-ill husband, Patrick, before he actually died on October 23 (see Widow of Euthanasia Campaign arrested ).

In December 2003, Dr. Michael Irwin, then Chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of England and Wales, was arrested by the Isle of Man police for the same offence, and also released on bail. When questioned by the police, and later to the media, he admitted that, for three days in mid-October, he had planned with Patricia Kneen to assist her husband (whom he had known since 1998) to commit suicide but, when he arrived on the Isle of Man from England, Patrick Kneen was too ill to take his own life.

Because of his admission to the police and the media, Dr. Irwin quickly resigned as Chairman of VES the day after he was arrested. The following week, as a two-third majority of the VES Board was opposed to his action, to help his terminally-ill friend, he was forced to resign from the Board. Two weeks later, he was co-opted to the Council of Friends at the End (FATE), the World Federation member society in Scotland.

In mid-February, the Isle of Man legal authorities decided to take “no further action” against Patricia Kneen and Michael Irwin, presumably because it was not in the public interest to do so (although, of course, a court case would have generated further media attention on the present campaign, being organized now by Patricia Kneen and Patrick’s friends on the Isle of Man, to change the law on this island to legalize physician-assisted suicide).

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