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MS patient takes on British Suicide Act

LONDON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A British woman with multiple sclerosis is challenging the Suicide Act, saying that she fears for her husband if he helps her end her life in a Swiss clinic.

Debbie Purdy of Bradford hopes to travel to Dignitas in Zurich, where patients can choose when to take their own lives, The Independent reported. She wants her husband, Omar Puente, to be with her -- but not if that means he could receive a 14-year sentence.

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Purdy has asked the High Court for a judicial review. That would force the Crown Prosecution Service to declare a policy on assisted suicide.

No one has been prosecuted in Britain for helping a terminally ill relative commit suicide. But Purdy says her husband might become the first.

"He is black, foreign and has very little money -- that's not a great thing to be today," she said. "After I have gone I don't want him to fall foul of the law for being the wrong color, from the wrong country and from the wrong class."

Purdy was diagnosed with MS around the time that she met the Cuban-born Puente in Singapore in 1995, when she was assigned to do a magazine article about his band. He eventually returned to England with her and they married in 1998.

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