Legality of assisted dying changing around the world

French former doctor Nicolas Bonnemaison (centre) leaves court in southwestern France on 25 June 2014. Photograph: Gaizka Iroz/AFP/Getty Images

On the same day that the UK supreme court dismissed an argument that doctors in the should escape prosecution if they help patients end their lives, a doctor in France who gave lethal injections to seven terminally ill people was cleared of wrongdoing.

In neither country is the law clear cut. Neither the terminally ill nor their doctors know exactly where they stand. Time and again, it is the lawyers and the judges who are called on to interpret the minutiae of laws and guidance which many on both sides of the debate consider unsatisfactory.

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