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More MS news articles for January 2003

UK Police Investigate Swiss Suicide Man's Wife

Jan 22, 2003

British police said on Tuesday they are investigating the wife of a British man who died by assisted suicide in Switzerland this week.

Reginald Crew, 74, from Liverpool, travelled to Zurich on Monday to end his life after living for 4 years' with motor neurone disease, which had left him paralysed from the neck down.

"Under British law we are obliged to investigate this matter--this decision is not a moral one but a legal one," said a Merseyside police spokesman.

"We are putting files together and we will be talking to Mrs Crew as part of our enquiries. The completed files will then be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who will decide if charges should be brought."

Crew was the first Briton publicly to go to end his own life in Switzerland where helping a terminally ill patient to die is not illegal and widely considered a humane act.

In Britain, assisted suicide is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

Crew died after taking a lethal dose of barbiturates prepared and supplied by the Zurich-based Dignitas non-profit organisation.

The director of Dignitas, Ludwig Minelli, told Reuters on Monday that Crew died in the company of his wife, Wyn, and his daughter. He said no one from Dignitas had been present.

© 2003 Reuters Ltd