You are here

At your mercy

For the first time the Court of Appeal has had to deal with the difficult concept of mercy killing. Benjamin Newton investigates the Inglis case

22 November 2010

Recently the news has been full of debate about the criminal liability of those who assist the suicide of a loved one with chronic illness, but in R v Inglis [2010] EWCA Crim 2637 the Court of Appeal (Lord Judge CJ, Irwin J and Holroyde J) was confronted for the first time with the difficulties that arise in the context of a mercy killing.

The appellant was the mother of three sons and had a history of depressive illness. On 7 July 2007, her son Thomas, 21, was involved in a fight and received a blow to the head; against his wishes he was required to go to hospital and an ambulance was called. On the way to hospital the back doors of the ambulance opened twice, and then on a third occasion Thomas fell out of the back and suffered severe head injuries.

He was taken to neuro-intensive care in a deep coma and put on a life support machine. The removal of part of the front of his skull to relieve pressure on the brain saved his life. There was a difference of opini...

Want to read on?

This article is part of our subscription-based access. Please pick one of the options below to continue.

Already registered? Login to access premium content

SUBSCRIBE for one User

Unlimited access to the entire SJ website for a full year for one user.

  • 10 issues a year delivered to you
  • Digital edition of the magazine for one user – sent to your inbox or accessible through the website
  • Access to premium content on the website
  • Access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online
  • Advanced search feature
  • Online support
  • Access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices – coming soon!
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

Subscribe

CORPORATE SUBSCRIPTION

Your department or entire firm can subscribe to Solicitors Journal online, providing easy access for all who require it. Discount corporate subscription rates apply, based on number of users.

The Corporate IP Licence includes:

  • Digital copy of the magazine sent to individuals’ inboxes and accessible through the website. Solicitors Journal publishes 10 issues per year
  • Unlimited access to premium content on the website based on IP addresses
  • Unlimited access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online (username required)
  • Unlimited access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

The Corporate IP Licence is tailored to your firm, making it the most cost effective way for the firm to access Solicitors Journal, and enables the firm to remain compliant with copyright and our Terms and Conditions. This gives you the ability to print and circulate articles within the firm.

To enquire about a Corporate IP Licence for your firm, please contact our Subscriptions Manager on emily.beechey@solicitorsjournal.com.