Final Considerations How much do I have to tell the Police if they ask?
In most jurisdictions, the law requires you to tell the police your name and address. But that is it! Even if the police are being really nice to you, it’s good to remember that they will make extensive notes of the day. These notes will include everything you tell them on and off the record. Given their record of conversation can be used as evidence in court, it’s best to say nothing, or very, very little. It is your right to say nothing so use it. And never submit to a recorded police interview unless you have an lawyer present. Seek legal advice immediately.
Should I say I was present when He/ She Died?
Exit is often asked if it is lawful for a loved one to be with a person when they take their life (ie. drink their Nembutal). In reply we say that there is ‘no clear legal answer.’ Obviously, it is the right thing to be there for the one you love. No one should be forced to die alone. However, the right thing to do is not always the legal thing to do.
In Nth America, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand there is very little case law which exists to help clarify whether being present when a person dies a) amounts to encouragement to suicide - ‘assisting a suicide’ or b) reflects a breach of a duty of care - under civil law. Generally speaking, a duty of care does not kick in unless the person who has died is known to you or does not have mental capacity.
In general, there is little need to worry about whether you have a duty of care to stop a person suiciding. In modern western democracies, personal liberty is highly prized and is subject to strong legal safeguards.