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Legal Guidance - Suicide
Guidance Notice seeks to give information to healers in
Please note that I am not a qualified legal practitioner and healers affected by this legislation should seek professional legal advice as appropriate.
read the introductory guidance on the legislative process in the
Chapter 60 of the Suicide Act 1961 is reproduced below under the terms of Crown Copyright Policy Guidance issued by HMSO (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office). Copyright is owned by the Crown and information on reproduction rights may be found on the HMSO website at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/crown-copyright/copyright-guidance/reproduction-of-legislation.htm .
some point, the current physical life ends for all of us. This can be through
natural causes. As advised in my training manuals, the cellular division
process in the physical body is heavily dependent upon the enzyme telemerase. As we age, the production of telemerase slows down which disrupts the cell division
process and causes deterioration of the physical body. This deterioration
reduces the body’s ability to fight disease and infection and can result also
in organ and system failure. Death can also take place early due to other
factors such as accident and injury, poisoning, incorrect nutrition, cancer,
etc.. As healers, we will from time to time be
called to assist people who have been told that they have a terminal
condition or who have been told that there is a high probability of death in
the coming months. Sometimes the
clients concerned will be suffering unbearable pain or depression and would
be happier to pass on rather than to try to remain alive. As healers, we know
that when a person dies, the stream of consciousness of the person does not
die but merely moves to a higher energy frequency outside of the physical
body. It is only the physical body that dies. The natural instinct for a
healer would be to do the best for the person from the holistic perspective,
not only for the remaining time in the physical body but also to help prepare
for the transition of passing on by working with the client to clear as much
emotional and mental baggage as possible. The law has its own perspective for
such situations. The relevant legislation in
Healers need to understand that if somebody has decided to commit suicide either proactively or passively (for example by refusing to take the medication prescribed by medical professionals that is supporting the ongoing physical assistance) and that if the healer is aware of this, the healer automatically will be in a situation where he or she could be accused of aiding suicide.
Healers also need to be aware than when attending a person likely to die in the presence of their friends and relatives, the words that the healer uses with the client could be liable to misinterpretation by the friends and relatives and the healer could unwittingly be placed in the situation where he or she could be accused of aiding somebody to die. This is more likely if the friends and relatives are emotionally distressed because of the situation with the client and are not in a rational frame of mind. Additionally, words used could also be misinterpreted by the client.
Healers should not make any comment on medication prescribed by the medical professionals and should not seek to encourage the client in any way not to take medication as prescribed. Healers should not seek to encourage the client to supplement prescribed medicines with herbal or similar products as the supplementary products could affect adversely the impact of the medication.
My guidance to people who have learned the energies with me, therefore, is to read the legislation below and to work out how they will approach situations where they are called to assist people with terminal conditions. I would suggest considering explaining the law to clients at the outset and advise them clearly what you can or cannot help with in the context of the law. It might be helpful to give this to the client in written form. Should you feel that it is likely that the client wants physical life to end, I would also suggest that you advise quite clearly that you will not be able to attend the client if you know that he or she is trying to pass on. I would also suggest that at each visit you consider making enquiries about any medication prescribed by the medical professionals and in a discrete way check if possible that this has all been taken. I would suggest that you consider being somewhat circumspect or cautious about what you say about matters of life and death in front of friends and relatives. Additionally, if you know or suspect that friends or relatives might have the intention to help a person commit suicide, the requirement for client confidentiality does not apply if the law is likely to be broken or is being broken and you should take advice about reporting the matter to the police. This might all sound somewhat cold hearted and unsupportive of the client. However, we all have a duty to look after ourselves and need to be in a position where our actions cannot be considered to breach the relevant legislation.
You might feel it appropriate to take independent advice about this area from any professional alternative therapy body that you belong to or from your local Citizens Advice Bureau. It might also be prudent to check for any guidance from your insurance company in the context of insurance taken out for your work.
visitors to this website please note that the Suicide Act to which I refer is
legislation that was passed originally for
Reproduction of the legislation
Suicide Act, 1961.
9&10 ELIZ.2 CH.60.
An Act to amend the law of
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
1. The rule of law, whereby it is a crime for a person to commit suicide is hereby abrogated.
2. (1) A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another, or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
(2) If on the trial of an indictment for murder or manslaughter it is proved that the accused aided, abetted, counselled or procured the suicide of the person in question, the jury may find him guilty of that offence.
(3)The enactments mentioned in the first column of the first Schedule to the Act shall have effect subject to the amendments provided for in the second column (which preserve in relation to offences under this section the previous operation of those enactments in relation to murder or manslaughter).
(4) An indictment for an offence under this section shall not be triable by a court of quarter sessions; and (subject to sections thirteen and forty of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, as applied by subsection (3) above) no proceedings shall be instituted for an offence under this section except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
3.(1)This Act may be cited as the Suicide Act, 1961.
(2)The enactments mentioned in the Second Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of the Schedule.
(3)This Act shall extend to
ADAPTATION OF ENACTMENTS RELATING TO MURDER OR MANSLAUGHTER
Date of posting: 30th January 2007