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UK developments expected this week

September 21, 2009: After the backing this year by the Law Lords of Debbie Purdy, calling for a policy statement on whether people assisting someone with his or her suicide should be prosecuted, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer, QC was asked to draw guidelines, to be published this week. The guidelines are expected to make clear the difference between someone assisting and someone encouraging a suicide. The new guidelines will apply to assisted suicides in Brittain and overseas. The Crown Prosecution Service said there would be no new legislation.

Political Editor Philip Webster of The Times, London: “Assisted suicide investigations will focus on who stood to benefit”.