In a landmark decision Friday, Britain's House of Lords essentially created a right to die in English law.
The chamber ruled that a woman's right to decide when to end her life was protected. It ordered the director of public prosecutions to publish guidelines on when he will prosecute a person who assists in the suicide of another person.
Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis, was at the center of the controversy. She wants her husband to be able to help her commit suicide without fear of prosecution.
"I think people are beginning to realize it's not a right to die, it's a right to live," Purdy said. "It's a right to live with dignity, it's a right to live with choice and it's a right to live to know what your choices are."
Opponents of assisted suicide say it is another blow to Britain's Christian heritage and standards.