Daniel James had a bright future ahead of him before a training ground injury in March 2007 left him paralyzed from the chest down. After eight months, a medical consultant concluded that the 23-year old rugby player would never recover. Left with no independent hand or finger movement and frequent pain, the once vibrant James became despondent and made several suicide attempts before contacting Dignitas. The euthanasia group operates a clinic in Switzerland where patients with incurable illness can end their lives. James' parents took him to the clinic where he committed suicide in September of this year.
On their return to the United Kingdom, Mark and Julie James were questioned by police for their role in their son's assisted suicide and a possible violation of the U.K.'s Suicide Act. In a public statement, Julie James criticized the police and the "well-meaning person" who alerted them stating that "'I hope that one day I will get the chance to speak to this lady and ask if she had a son, daughter, father, mother, who could not walk, had no hand function, was incontinent, and relied upon 24 hour care for every basic need and they had asked her for support, what would she have done?!'
Daniel James underwent two psychiatric assessments earlier this year verifying that he was of sound mind in making his decision. His parents sent all documentation to Dignitas as well as paying them for their services and making travel arrangements. The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that no charges will be laid.