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Sunday, 5 March, 2000, 17:42 GMT
Should Ian Brady be allowed to die?

The Moors murderer Ian Brady is going to court to fight for the right to starve himself to death.

The 62-year-old has served 35 years of a perpetual life sentence. "I have had enough," he said. "I want nothing, my objective is to die and release myself from this once and for all."

Do you think a convicted criminal should have the right to end their own life? Is Brady trying to escape his sentence or is it a waste of public money keeping him alive? Tell us what you think.

Your Reaction

If a dog mauls a human to death, it is destroyed, quickly and humanely and only few eccentrics complain. Is it not time we accorded the same civilised treatment to humans who maul other humans to death? Why should we pay taxes to keep creatures like this alive and comfortably safe when our schools and hospitals are on the point of bankruptcy? Might I also point out that mad dogs are also put to sleep, so let us have no more nonsense about the 'mental illness' of killers!
Tony, England

Pardon me for being unchristian here, but maybe we tell him he can die once he tells us where Keith Bennett is. Until that is accomplished, carry on force feeding him. He was good at torture, wasn't he?
Barry, UK

You can carry on forever, trapped by hatred and the desire for revenge. What does it really achieve?

Sam, UK
What does it really matter to any of us, the extent to which Ian Brady suffers? Does the suffering of the children's parents' decrease with every day that he suffers? Of course not. Their suffering will never lessen unless perhaps they can find peace and accept what has happened. We would all of us give anything to go back 35 years and prevent this whole tragedy, but we can't. It isn't easy, and I can't tell anyone how to do it, but the only answer is to let go and move on. There are no grey areas here about who has done wrong to whom. There is nothing left to prove.
Sam, UK

We cannot give Ian Brady the power to alter our judicial system, and this is the real point. It is not a matter of keeping him alive to suffer for as long as possible - simply that there are things more important than life (why else go to war, knowing that lives will be lost?).
Tricia, UK

If Ian Brady is capable of making decisions, and it is his wish that he refuses food and medical attention, I am not entirely convinced that we have the right to intervene. One could be heartless and wonder who exactly would miss him if he were to go.
David Holder, UK

What greater argument could there be against the death penalty. This man must be fully punished: let him live.
Cooper, Luxembourg

If he dies, he has served his life sentence.

Han de Min, UK
He has a life sentence, and no definite time is given. If he stops eating and manages to continue to do so, it is his decision. One cannot force-feed him. So if he dies, he has served his life sentence. The school of thought that he must be kept alive, to suffer, is a non starter.
Han de Min, UK

Let him suffer! He has forfeited his rights for compassion or mercy.
Valerie Blair, Australia

Has anybody told him that there is a God who he has to face. He mightn't be so keen to end it all then. By the way why are the English so keen to keep him locked up but let other terrorists out?
Alison, N Ireland

Although I'm just 13 I do have a strong opinion on this. By finishing his victims' lives in hell on earth he should spend the rest of his life in hell on earth.
Sarah, England

His statements don't seem to express any remorse - just a desire to feed his own egocentric needs.

Gail Byrne, Canada
I remember as a young adolescent being scared by all the reports of the murders this man committed, and I feel very strongly that his wish to die deserves the same respect that he gave to his victims' pleas to be set free to go home. I don't regard keeping him alive a waste of taxpayers' money - not at all.
His statements don't seem to express any remorse - just a desire to feed his own egocentric needs. Don't allow him to die, cut his rations, and keep him fed just enough to keep him alive, to live out the rest of his natural days in suffering. He deserves no less
Gail Byrne, Canada

What a load of hot air over an insignificant matter. Forget him, he's not worth it, never was and never will be. It's not what has happened that is important but what the future holds. Myra Hindley was saved by Doctors recently when she had a serious medical condition, why? What is the point. Does the continued incarceration of this pair really help society? We are all missing the point as with so much else it's not the person who committed the act that is important, but the act itself. We should seek to understand and ensure this never happens again.
Bob, UK

Ian Brady should be allowed to die. He has served 35 years. If his crime came to court now, both he and Myra Hindley would not court such media attention during their sentences. Other murderers have served sentences and been released for similar atrocities.
The Moors Murders have been a media fuelled event for years now. We should let Ian Brady kill himself. What's the difference of him being imprisoned for the rest of his life or dead? What does it matter to anyone? Let him go and end this media circus.
Lucy Backhouse Brady, UK

Since he wants to die, does this mean that anorexic people should be allowed to do the same?

Selena Zafar, England
The issue at stake is extremely complex. If Brady is allowed to starve himself to death, are we not setting a dangerous precedent? Since he wants to die, does this mean that anorexic people should be allowed to do the same? What about people suffering from untreatable illnesses? What about people suffering from clinical depression? If he wins the case, are we not condemning our society. Where will the madness end?
Selena Zafar, England

In receiving a sentence of life-imprisonment, Brady has forfeited the right to decide what he does with his own life. Therefore, what he wishes to happen with his life is irrelevant. He has a sentence to serve and should not be allowed to end it when he sees fit.
Caroline, UK

I think that Brady and Hindley, like the Krays, have served their time.

Sarah McNamara, Australia
I think that Brady and Hindley, like the Krays, have served their time (I do not know what a life sentence means in the UK but here it is 25 years) and that they should be released. If Mr Brady wants to kill himself so be it, let him go ahead. It would be cheaper for the English taxpayers if he did. I know that nothing will ever ease the pain of what he did for his victims' relatives, but nothing will ever ease it for him or Myra Hindley either. They will both have to live with what they have done for the rest of their days, and even when their time has come they will still live it in Hell and will not rest in peace.
Sarah McNamara, Australia

Why should he have a right to end his suffering? The parents of the children he took from this earth will never stop suffering. He should be made to suffer until the day he is taken from this earth by the devil.
Louise, England

Of course he should be allowed to die. It is obscene that force should be used to force feed him.
Derek Bernard, Jersey, British Isles

I still think that since his misery would end with his death, why should he deserve that peace?

Rick Lemus, USA
Let me see if I understand this...
"This man has killed innocent children, admitted to doing so, was sentenced to life in prison, and now he wants out by starving himself do death?!" And of course the media is giving him enough face and cord by letting the world know about this murderer's feelings and wishes.
Well, who will speak up for the dead children? Who gave them a chance to lose their lives easier? Certainly not Brady! And although I would think that having him dead would be a good riddance for your country, I still think that since his misery would end with his death, why should he deserve that peace?
Rick Lemus, USA

Maybe where the evidence is overwhelming a convicted person should be given the choice of whether to be executed or to serve life, by which I mean life. In Brady's case he should only be "allowed" to die by execution and ONLY when he has revealed the place where the last of the bodies is buried. If he has forgotten, he continues to serve his sentence.
Richard Alley, UK

Brady would escape a life sentence, if he was permitted to claim one more victim. He is only incarcerated for life. This heinous killer's suffering should be protracted for as long as possible.
Peter Crawford-Bolton, UK (in US)

Would we even remember him or Myra Hindley if it weren't for the constant raking up of the past by all involved?

Sandra, UK
I noted with interest some of the comments being made through this discussion/debate but many of them made me feel quite sick and ashamed to be human. Why do some people find it necessary to treat others like animals - this is offensive in a so-called 'moral' society.
The man committed his crimes in the 1960's and was always going to 'pay' for the rest of his natural life due to the intense media coverage. Would we even remember him or Myra Hindley if it weren't for the constant raking up of the past by all involved?
Sandra, UK

I hope Brady is in so much pain, now he knows the true word of justice. He has no right to start asking for rights himself after the children's lives he took and the families who still with the consequences of his actions. Now he realises and is being punished, he should stay where he is, after all, the people he killed didn't have the right to choose whether to die, so why should he? Rot in hell
Stuart Harris, UK

I think Brady should be allowed to die. Why should us tax payers continue to pay for him living when a lot of people, including the families of the murdered victims, would rather see him dead and in hell where he belongs.
Babs Yorkston, Scotland - and proud of it!

To me Brady is not a man, he is a savage, a cold black pit of evil.

Carolina, UK
Some of the people above talk of Bradys' rights as a man. Well let me tell you now, to me Brady is not a man, he is a savage, a cold black pit of evil and I abhor any thought of showing this man mercy. Keep him in his misery because frankly hell is too good for him.
Carolina, UK

I see no good in keeping a man in a steady state of perpetual misery, when he wishes to end his existence. Starvation is not an "easy" thing and people should ask if they have experienced it themselves before judging it to be an "easy option". I believe this is an illustration of how deeply troubled (in all context) the man is. I believe we are now forcing our opinions onto someone when we do not have the right. He did the same, so lets at least learn from barbaric actions, and not commit them ourselves.
Ed, UK

I work with the elderly and many of them have spoken openly about this subject and feel it is a waste of public money to allow Ian Brady to go to court. After all as they say he's got no rights because he took the lives of innocent little ones. They are also unhappy about the proposed screening tonight of Myra Hindley programme. They feel and I have to say I have to agree, these kind of people should never be allowed out into society again. After all society is bad enough without allowing more 'bad' people out of jail to wander our streets freely.
Di, UK

Not if that is what he wants...
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

Anyone, who can kidnap, torture, rape and kill innocent children and still have a clear conscious deserves to suffer for the rest of his life just as his victims and the victims families have. Ian Brady's situation is like a double sided coin, he does have the right to take his own life and in some ways it may be better if this man does so, but on the other side he should be made to serve his penance and suffer in silence for the rest of his miserable (and I do hope it is) life.
Lisa Kennedy, UK

Everyone has the right to die, releasing himself from the sentence does not mean he will rest in peace.
Sarah Kelly, Canada

Him staying alive or not is no longer a matter of a case rather than a political point for whichever person to use or abuse.

Dr Diba, United Kingdom
There is so much anger and at the same time ignorance about this crime from people who were not even born at the time it happened. The fact of the matter is we do not fully comprehend individuals such as Ian Brady and their actions in order to pass a complete and just judgement.
We keep him alive for a number reasons. Firstly we do not know what to do with him. As the current situation goes, him staying alive or not is no longer a matter of a case rather than a political point for which ever person to use or abuse. There are doctors involved here and the same doctors may have patients who are dying of cancer and whom are kept alive because the law does not permit otherwise. Let us not mix the issues of criminal punishment and euthanasia.
Dr Diba, United Kingdom

No. He cannot be allowed to escape from paying the price for his horrendous crime. He gave his victims no choice to live, he cannot be allowed to elect to die.
Tim Carter, South Africa

Everyone has a basic right to kill themselves. Except, that is, for Brady & Hindley. Their lives now belong to the State. I'm for the State prolonging their misery for as long as possible.
Andy, UK

Keeping Brady alive is not perverse or in any way unnatural. It is merely sustaining the present state of things, and adhering to his initial sentence.

Simon Ashall, United Kingdom
I wonder how many people on this board who support Brady's preference of "euthanasia" would have supported him receiving the death penalty for his crimes 35 years ago. I strongly disagree with punishing him with death, but I absolutely agree with punishing him with life. Keeping Brady alive is not perverse or in any way unnatural. It is merely sustaining the present state of things, and adhering to his initial sentence.
Simon Ashall, United Kingdom

For the information of those who are unaware, suicide is NOT illegal in the UK. Whether Brady kills himself or not is really of no consequence. What is interesting judging by what he and Hindley have said recently is that a life sentence is, in fact, much worse than the death penalty for a guilty person.
John Cahill, UK

If Mr Brady wants to die then why not let him - Only I think it should be the families of the children he murdered who decide the way in which his life is taken.
Tracey, UK

Someone who is convicted for such an amount of years, has certainly no right to put an end to his life himself. He is only starving himself to draw the attention of the public through the mass media by gaing public sympathy without regard to the crime he had committed which is without doubt dire. Still I believe has should serve further his sentence until justice pays its course.
Hany Mekkawi Rengier, Germany

I think Brady has served his time. He is not as evil as Myra Hindley as he has said that he never wishes to be released and he admits to all of the murders whereas Myra Hindley refuses to do so. I agree that it is a violation of human rights to force feed him so I think that he should be allowed to die if that is his desire.
Katie Lynch, UK

If Brady wants to kill himself, he can. He's such a coward (and an attention seeker) that he doesn't dare trying to do it any other way than starving himself to death, which actually could give him an endorphin high and be a not too bad experience for him. No, he should be force-fed, and if he cannot take that he can always stick a pen or something in his wrist; I am sure they'll give him some pens to sketch if he asked nicely.
Pia Hellgren, Sweden

Is it not a form of Euthanasia to allow him to end his misery?

Kevin Patten, London, UK
Why should this monster be allowed to terminate his misery. I am thrilled that he is having a miserable time.
I cannot believe this is even a court case...
Is it not a form of Euthanasia to allow him to end his misery? Euthanasia is illegal, it would be unlawful for him, a child killer to have any concessions, wouldn't you agree?
Re: person who complained about the tax payer keeping him there. I think the money is well worth it! - He's so miserable he desperately wants to kill himself.
Check out the irony there. There is a god.
Kevin Patten, London, UK

To Neil Halliday: Probably most people writing here will not "kidnap and torture" children. You are right...these are the acts of the mentally ill. But we, the righteous and perfectly healthy don't seem to mind caging a man for life and then keeping him alive against his will. Just because Brady is a criminal doesn't mean that our actions are any less brutal or cruel. Cast the first stone if you please Mr. but remember that our judge sits above and not in some imperfect court room with imperfect laws. The only thing that separates most of us from Brady is that our vindictiveness is legal!
Vivien Cooksley, Cyprus-Austria.

Why should someone that took away those children's rights to do anything they wanted to do be given the right to even have any say whatsoever?
jane love, england

To G Williams, Wales: Suicide is no longer a crime in this country, therefore Brady would not be committing a crime on Government property. However, I do feel we cannot allow him to starve himself to death, or aid his dying in any way, it would set too dangerous a precedent. To the silly fool who said Brady shouldn't have been imprisoned in the first place, what else should be done with the criminal/criminally insane? Brady and his lover kidnapped, tortured and killed their small victims, taping their cries for their mothers and pleas for mercy to listen to and 'enjoy' in their perverted way later. How could we let him run loose?
Pat, UK

Isn't the expression 'An eye for an eye'?
P Anning, England

he should be killed in the same way in which he killed his victims

Ben , Britain
I think they should keep him alive even though it has cost thousands and thousands of pounds to do so, so far. Letting him die would only make him happy, which is not the reason why he is in prison! I think he should be strapped down and fed through a tube for the rest of his natural live. Or he should be killed in the same way in which he killed his victims.
Ben , Britain and proud of it

As a taxpayer in Britain and therefore someone who contributes to the prison fund I don't see why I should be forced to pay for other peoples vindictive and cruel attitudes. Brady has been in Prison a long time and is going to die there due to his crimes and mental state and it seems that the only reason people want him to be kept alive is so that they may continue to torment and punish him. Have we become such a barbarous nation that we deem it fit for people to be kept alive at great expense for as long as possible just so that we may punish them for that little bit longer? I had hoped that this outrageous practice had long passed from our society. Anyway I would have thought the knowledge that soon he will be no more would be punishment enough for anyone.
Brian, England

How poignant it is that Brady says that when he is being force-fed by warders he is given no anaesthetic to ease his pain and this has caused him considerable discomfort. What a short memory this man has. Does he not wish to remember the crimes that he has perpetrated? The eternal suffering of the families of his innocent victims. Does he think that now he considers himself 'well read' the world is ready to forgive him. I think not. This man must pay for his heinous crimes. He must serve life imprisonment and not be allowed to 'parole' himself by taking his own life.
Paul Kelly, Scotland

I cannot believe that this case is being heard. We the taxpayers are paying high priced lawyers to argue the case, the judge, the massive security costs to transport Brady to and from prison, and I presume that Brady's legal team is funded by legal aid. And for what? To decide whether we should let him die or pay to keep him alive for many more years. No wonder this country has no money to spend on things that matter, like education and health, if we are pursuing frivolous law suits like this. Just let him die and get rid of him.
Chris S, England

What is this "right to die"? We're all going to die - it has nothing to do with "rights". The issue here is whether Brady should be allowed to commit another illegal act - to kill himself. Let's not forget that by his own inhuman actions he denied those young children THEIR right to live and, by doing so, I believe he forfeited not only his freedom but also the "right" to choose his own destiny.
Heather Palmer, Belgium

I doubt if any one cares about the "suffering" of Ian Brady and his pathetic winging about his right to die. It is outrageous that he should even have the opportunity to voice his opinions. Keep the miserable animal alive until he rots.
T.M. Rielly, Anglesey

Brady is no saint, but don't you think he has served his time? IRA murders are walking free and they have done worse.
Mark Lyttle, UK

An example must be maintained, if this cruel man is allowed to die others like him will claim the same right to escape justice. He should continue suffering in this life whilst looking forward to eternal suffering in the next one.
Nick Metcalfe, UK

To lessen the burden on the already overtaxed public, and not withstanding the death penalty gone, let him die and do everyone a favour. Let's rid our corrective service system and the tax-paying public of all of these devils and concentrate on putting good money into the benefits of the good.
Malcolm Hunt, Australia / UK

Now that he wants to die, he should be forced to live as long as possible - sod the expense. Also, clearly as he is quite intelligent, he should be in a normal jail, with the big boys.
R.Wilson, Bahrain

I think that he has the right to take his own life, if he feels that doing it is the only way out then let him have this last wish. What right do we have to deny his last wish? If he wants to die let him. He should be treated as human not an alien.
Mark. UK, England

Brady has no value. We must not allow him to dominate our minds and make us lose our confidence in justice and laws. Therefore his doctors should keep him alive and not give up to his will, or release him from his perpetual sentence.
Nasif Rafiq, Palestine

If Brady wants to kill himself so much why doesn't he just get it over with. This pervert has involved countless lawyers and judges and whoever else in order to have the right to die. Am I the only person thinking he just wants a holiday from prison? I don't believe in giving the benefit of the doubt to child killers.
Jennifer , Canada

For the crimes he committed he should have been executed instead of being given a life sentence. Life imprisonment without parole is a more cruel punishment than execution. In such cases it doesn't matter whether the person that committed the crime regrets his actions and is no more a threat to the society, he still has to be imprisoned. In my opinion if he's been imprisoned for 35 years and has no chance of being released, that's punishment enough. No one is gaining anything by punishing him more for a crime committed years ago.

I feel very sorry for all the victims, their parents and relatives. But as a mother myself I donīt know how we would judge our children if they committed such crimes? And I also think 35 years of jail are enough. Not to find an excuse what he has done, but maybe an explanation why he has done it. But the right whenever a human being wants to die should not be taken from him.
Chrissie, Austria

I think that Brady is trying to escape his sentence. If he "can't take any more" then why did he bring those innocent children's lives to an end for his own enjoyment. He should suffer like the families of his victims have. The public should be only too willing to help this.
Kathryn Foster, Wales

Ian Brady wants to die. Nobody will miss him if he does. He's costing money to keep alive. Why not let him do as he pleases. It serves no useful purpose to force him to live when he wants to die, and if you believe in an afterlife then I would suspect what comes after he starves himself to death will be more unpleasant than force feeding!

If he succeeds he will be granting himself parole.

G Williams, Wales
Is suicide not still illegal in this country? Should we allow a criminal to commit an offence on government property? I think not. Whatever Mr Brady's crimes are, he has no legal right to kill himself.
If his sentence was natural life, then natural life he should serve. Just because he thinks he can swerve it by ending his own life, does not mean we should suddenly respect his will to die because it saves tax money. If he succeeds he will granting himself parole.
G Williams, Wales

Allow Ian Brady to do the most honourable thing that he has ever done and kill himself. I know some want him to be punished further on earth but his ultimate punishment will come from God. He will never be free again to do what he did to those poor innocent children who were caught up and sadly tortured and killed because of this man's warped mind. He does not deserve to be alive and the World will be a better place without this brutal monster living upon it.
Melissa, England

Brady was sentenced to die in jail. He should serve his full sentence and die in jail without any official assistance to shorten his life span.
Raymond Platt, USA

If he wishes to die, it is our duty as fellow humans to aid him.

Damon Evans, England
I think that it is a poor reflection on society if we do not allow this man to die. Regardless of his crimes, he is human. I believe punishing people in this way is inhumane. We should be trying to set an example, not follow his.
Every moment he is alive, it is a living reminder of his crimes. Is it not time that we made the memory of the children more important than the people who killed them? If he wishes to die, it is our duty as fellow humans to aid him.
Damon Evans, England

To Vivien Cooksley: Keeping Brady alive to live with his guilt does not make us as cruel or brutal as he is. I doubt anyone who has written into this debate would ever consider kidnapping and torturing children to death, much less actually do it. Brady has no rights whatsoever in deciding his future. He gave up that right when he deprived others of their future.
Neil Halliday, England

From the point of view of public money being used to keep him in jail, feed him etc, he should be allowed to die by his own hand.
Louis R Winkler, USA

I thought the point of a life in sentence was to take away the criminal's freedom and choice.

Alia'a Hamed, Canada
I thought the point of a life in sentence was to take away the criminal's freedom and choice. To give this evil man the ultimate right to choose whether he should suffer for what he had done or whether he can take the easy way out is self-defeating. What message does this give out about law and justice? Even in jail, this man is not suffering half as much as his victims did when they were brutally and painfully tortured, raped and killed at his hands.
Alia'a Hamed, Canada

Death is not the easy escape from justice that Brady thinks. As many in the world cry out for real justice, as grieving parents need to know that evil DOES have consequences and cry out in despair, "Is God indifferent to this?" it actually comes as good news that God will one day hold us all to account. What Brady needs then, like the rest of us whose evils are less public but no less real, is mercy.
Andrew S, York, UK

Ian Brady killed children, without giving them a chance to choose life/death. He professes superior intelligence. Not in my book. Serving LIFE in prison is his punishment. Now he wants to die on his terms. Why should he be allowed the easy way out? We owe it to those children to keep him in prison for the rest of his life.
Ann Brookes, England

Whatever happened to forgiveness? We forgive people not because they deserve it but because they need it.

Trev J, N. Ireland
Aren't we supposed to live in a Christian society? Whatever happened to forgiveness? We forgive people not because they deserve it but because they need it. This man is serving his time and it is his express wish to die by starving which means he still has hell ahead of him. Is this not enough for you people?
Trev J, N. Ireland

Brady never considered the 'rights' of the children he murdered to enjoy a happy life, so why should he be allowed to exercise any similar right over his own??? And what about the rights of the parents of the children he murdered - they have suffered dreadfully every single day and they have no recourse in law other than knowing he is suffering.
Sue, England

If he wants to die, let him. If what he says about the excessive security measures taken against him, the way in which he was forced to have food, inducing hypothermia, is true then there is something amiss. It is debatable whether he should even be in Ashworth since he seems like an intelligent man. Is it not enough that he will die in prison? Is it not enough that he will die in an incredibly painful way?
Trevor Blayney, N. Ireland

I cannot believe that a criminal can tie up the court system because he cannot do anymore time.

Leanne, USA
The right to die should only be an issue if he were terminally ill. I cannot believe that a criminal can tie up the court system because he cannot do anymore time. This is his way of keeping control of his incarceration. I say let him starve himself to death if that is what he wants, under the conditions that he goes back into general population where no doubt he will be very popular with the men who hate child killers, molesters, etc.. Look what happened to Jeffery Dahmer over here. Quit giving this man media coverage.
Leanne, USA

We keep and treat him like a despised animal, let us at least let him die like a human.
KJD, England

This is clearly an issue of choice. There is a factor which appears to have been overlooked in the discussion so far, that of precedent. Should we allow this individual the choice to die, do we set a precedent for other prisoners?
From a moral viewpoint, he is asking for a way out of his miserable life, whether this is right or wrong cannot easily be answered. What is clear is the impact that giving him his choice would have on future cases. Justice must be seen to be done, and once a door has been opened...would we not be making problems rather than curing one?
Martin, UK

He should not be allowed to starve himself to death. He is being punished for crimes against society and therefore should lose his right to make these type of decisions
Cassandra Byrnes, UK

No matter how long he lives, Brady can never make amends for the murders he committed.

Maria Gleason, USA
Why shouldn't Brady be allowed to die? The idea of keeping him alive so that he doesn't 'escape' his punishment is simply not logical. No matter how long he lives, Brady can never make amends for the murders he committed; let him go so that the families he devastated can cease being tormented by his very existence.
Maria Gleason, USA

Why not save the taxpayer some money. Let him starve himself to death.
Chris, UK

If keeping him alive makes Brady suffer, then so be it. No 'cop out' for him please.
Martin, UK

I'm a taxpayer, too. I don't mind keeping one example of his kind as a deterrent, but to keep a whole collection rather dilutes the effect. Now we have Dr. Shipman, we don't need Brady. Get rid of him.
Allan M, UK

I think that Brady shouldn't have been jailed, or punished in any other way, in the first place.

Chris Bond, UK
Of course, he, like anyone else, has the right to end his life. Also, how does Alex S, UK know that death is the "easy way out"? Does he/she know that what comes after death is any "easier" than living?
I think that Brady shouldn't have been jailed, or punished in any other way, in the first place. What happened was unfortunate, but people have no right to do anything to him, just as he shouldn't have done what he allegedly did to those children.
Chris Bond, UK

Brady is in Ashworth Hospital because he is generally considered to be insane. The fact that he has roped in a couple of lawyers to argue on his behalf doesn't make his behaviour reasonable. Suicide attempts by the insane should be prevented. End of story. The media seize on every little noise that Brady and Hindley make, and I wish they wouldn't.
Brian Southward, UK

If Brady wins his case he will have established a legal precedent for a voluntary death penalty in the criminal justice system. In the case of life imprisonment meaning life, this may be a welcome move. One note of caution though. If that were not accompanied by an equal right to die being extended to the wider population you run the risk that a person pathologically determined on their own euthanasia but unwilling to commit self-suicide might commit a terrible crime. Difficult issue.
Andy Mayer, UK

Let him die and save the taxpayers the ridiculous cost of this and any subsequent attempts.

Tim G, UK
In thirty five years, how many millions have been spent keeping this guy in prison? A convicted multiple murderer should receive the death penalty as a capital punishment, not as an option when he realises he will never get out of prison. However I say let him die and save the taxpayers the ridiculous cost of this and any subsequent attempts.
Tim G, UK

This piece of human vermin has no right to anything. The moment a person chooses to commit a crime as horrendous as his, is the moment they forfeit all rights to ever be treated as a decent human being again.
Matt Grubb, UK

If he really has his mind set on dying it will be very costly and almost impossible to stop him.

Vivien Cooksley, Cyprus-Austria
I fear that sometimes our wish to punish people reveals us to be almost as brutal and cruel as the people we punish. This man should be given adequate psychological help and guidance as our civilised world requires. In the long run though, if he really has his mind set on dying it will be very costly and almost impossible to stop him.
See the example of Fuchs in Austria lately. If he wants death then provide him with a humane means of doing this. Don't let a 63 year old starve himself to death...I would find this shameful.
Vivien Cooksley, Cyprus-Austria

Ian Brady knew his own mind when he killed children and no one was able to stop him from doing that. I think he should now be allowed to kill himself.
Andrew Cromwell, UK/Northern Ireland

Of course it is a grey area: I believe it is a human right to be able to have control over your life like that, however, what is the point of having life sentences if criminals can escape them? One thing is black and white: this is a moral issue and the outcome should apply across the board.
What Ian Brady did was evil, but he deserves to be treated the same as other life prisoners and not be set apart from all the other child killers, serial rapists, paedophiles, murders etc by the media.

We should keep him alive as part of his ongoing punishment.

Mark Sargeant, UK
Unfortunately there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Because of his crimes it is difficult to sympathise with Brady. On the other hand there is his right to be allowed to die. We should keep him alive as part of his ongoing punishment. But by doing that we must realise that he is more than just an average murderer but a particularly notorious child murderer.
Mark Sargeant, UK

Definitely he should be allowed to die if that's what he wants and he shouldn't have to go to court about it.
Yvonne, UK

To let Brady die would be to allow him the one thing that he took from the children he murdered, choice. He wants to die in order to take away the pain. Why should he? He should be kept alive so that with each breath he feels more guilty fo what he did.
Nick, UK

This evil man has been convicted of murder. Why should he be given the right to end his punishment when he wants? Hios victims were given no choice in their future, also the families of those lost have no choice as to the length of their suffering. This man is an abomination and only God should have the final say as to the length of his sentence. I am a tax payer and I have no problems in paying for this man's incarceration for as long as he lives.
Rob Aldridge, England

I don't think you can take punishment any further. This man has been crushed for his crimes. He may do what he will.

Matt, Netherlands
There are three reasons for punishment. To prevent the offender from re-offending (life in jail vs. Rehab), to act as a deterrent, and as pure retribution (he got what he deserved). This man obviously won't be re-offending, as he has no opportunity to do so.
If life in jail, ending with a slow drawn out suicide is not a terrifying deterrent, then I don't know what is. And finally, I think that an end with so little dignity, with a man pleading for his own death is surely retribution. I don't think you can take punishment any further. This man has been crushed for his crimes. He may do what he will.
Matt, Netherlands (ex. UK)

My gut instinct is to say 'Yes....and if he needs a hand I'll help.' However, would it not be more appropriate to let him live out his days in prison, denying him the choice just as he denied his victims the choice when he carried out his hideous crimes? Our society needs to send out an un-erring message that remains the same over the decades: this behaviour can never be acceptable.
Simon, England

Why should he be allowed to take the easy way out? He knows he has nothing to live for - he is serving a life sentence. That's the point! His victims could not choose how or when to die. Why should he?
Much as I think keeping murderers alive in prison is a waste of taxpayers money, I feel that in this case, no matter how much he feels he is suffering, it can never be enough to make amends to the victims' families. Maybe they are the ones who should decide Brady's fate?
Alex S, UK

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28 Feb 00 |  UK
Brady's death wish
28 Feb 00 |  UK
The Moors murders
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