They just don't stop trying, do they?
There are people who would like to see euthanasia legalised in Britain. After fighting for its legalisation for years without success, they changed tactic and fought for the legalisation of assisted suicide, again without success.
The law lords ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions to state when he would prosecute in cases of assisted suicide and when he would not. Critics say that since the DPP's statement two years ago, there have been precious few prosecutions for assisted suicide - but assisted suicide remains illegal.
Richard Ottaway, MP for Croydon South and a patron of Dignity in Dying - formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society - was given time for a debate on assisted suicide in the House of Commons. The debate came up this week.
His motion was said to be "That this House welcomes the Director of Public Prosecutions' Guidance to Prosecutors in Respect of Cases of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide and invites the Government to consult as to whether to put the guidance on a statutory basis."
Little by little, you see. A step at a time.
When the debate came up, however, Mr Ottaway's motion had been reduced to "That this House welcomes the Director of Public Prosecutions' Policy to Prosecutors in Respect of Cases of Encouraging or Assisting Suicide, published in February, 2010," and Dame Joan Ruddock, MP for Lewisham, Deptford, proposed an amendment adding "and invites the Government to consult as to whether to put the guidance on a statutory basis."
Dignity in Dying was reported to be lobbying MPs hard, and there were fears that since the debate was on the last day of parliamentary business before the Easter recess, some MPs might have gone home early.
Such fears were misplaced. There were some excellent speeches in a five-hour debate. Mr Ottaway's motion was passed unopposed, Dame Joan's amendment died the death, and an amendment by Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton, adding "and encouraging further development of specialised palliative care and hospice provision" was agreed.
Care Not Killing, an alliance of organisations opposed to euthanasia, later welcomed the decision to encourage further development of specialist palliative care and hospice provision and to endorse the current law on assisted suicide. John Smeaton, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, however, said the Commons' welcome of the DPP's policy on prosecuting assisted suicide undermined society's protection of the most vulnerable.
The most important thing is that assisted suicide remains illegal - for now.