The family of late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson and paralysed road accident victim Paul Lamb have lost their right-to-die challenges at the Court of Appeal in London.
ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:
Lord Falconer has told ITV News it is up to parliament to legalise assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
The Labour peer is to table a private members bill on the issue.
He said: "People are going to the courts to try to resolve a problem that parliament should be resolving, and that problem is what are the circumstances in which you should be allowed to assist somebody else to die."
The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has said it would be "sensible" for the Crown Prosecution Service to seek the views of the Supreme Court before amendments are made to law on right-to-die cases.
The family of late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson and paralysed road accident victim Paul Lamb lost their right-to-die challenges at the Court of Appeal in London today.
– Keir Starmer, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions
While I respect the carefully considered judgment of the Court of Appeal, I think it would be sensible for the CPS, if possible, to have the benefit of the views of the Supreme Court before any amendments are made to the DPP’s Guidelines in this important and sensitive area of the law.
Tony Nicklinson's widow Jane has told ITV News she will continue the fight for assisted suicide to become legal for "as long as (she) possibly can".
Mrs Nicklinson said she and her legal team believe judgements over the right-to-die are a matter for the courts, rather than just Parliament.
And she said the long-running fight, which she now leads alongside paralysed campaigner Paul Lamb, was never "just about Tony".
Today's Court of Appeal rulings came nearly a decade after locked-in sydrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson began his fight to change the law on assisted suicide.
Click here to read the timeline of his legal struggle, which is now pursued by his widow Jane and two daughters following his death in August last year.
The Christian Legal Centre has backed the Court of Appeal's rejection of right-to-die cases brought by Tony Nicklinson's family and Paul Lamb and warned against law makers being "swayed by clever PR based on hard cases".
“We’re relieved that the judges have upheld the current law on murder," Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement. "It’s there for our protection and doesn’t need changing."
She went on:
It was always unlikely that the Court would rule in favour of Lamb and Nicklinson. But the legal battle is part of a bigger strategy of the anti-life lobby. The cases get lots of media attention, the spotlight turns on Westminster and pressure is built up for MPs to change the law.
Paul Lamb has told ITV News he is "pleased" that he and the Nicklinson family can take their right-to-die challenges to the Supreme Court and is "already planning to be there".
The Nicklinsons earlier confirmed the Court of Appeal had cleared them to appeal to the higher court and Mr Lamb said, as far as he is concerned, he has been granted leave to appeal too.
Paul Lamb has told ITV News he will "never give up" his legal battle for the right to die.
He says he "had little hope" of a ruling in his favour, but is ready to appeal again to the Supreme Court.
"The judge said he had 'sympathy' for me," Mr Lamb said. "I hate that word. Sympathy is no good to me. When he talked about sympathy I just wanted to shout at him.
"If they had a dog that was in the same pain as I am, they wouldn't allow it. The law is just cruel," he added. "There are thousands of people like me, and all we want is the individual right to choose how to end our lives."
The Court of Appeal has granted us permission to appeal to the Supreme Court #righttodie