Paris : A French doctor has been acquitted on Wednesday of poisoning charges after giving lethal injections to help seven terminally ill patients die, adding urgency to the growing debate on who can decide when a person is beyond treatment. Several relatives of Nicolas Bonnemaison’s patients had testified on his behalf.

 The case had drawn nationwide attention and emotion amid mounting calls in France to legalise euthanasia. It is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Wednesday’s decision comes the same day Britain’s Supreme Court said that a ban on assisted suicide was incompatible with human rights. The British decision was unexpectedly far-reaching.

Although it dismissed the appeal from two severely disabled men who argued the law should be changed to allow doctors to legally kill them, the ruling suggested that Parliament change the law to be in line with human rights guarantees.

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