London: A woman with multiple sclerosis lost her High Court bid on Wednesday to clarify the law to ensure her husband would not face prosecution if he helped her commit suicide abroad.

Debbie Purdy, 45, from Bradford wanted the court to force the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to give assurances her husband would not be prosecuted if he helped her go to a euthanasia facility in Switzerland at some stage in the future.

The law states that assisting suicide is a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

But since 1992, almost 100 British citizens have ended their lives at the Dignitas facility in Switzerland - where assisted suicide is legal - without their relatives being prosecuted.

London's High Court ruled that the DPP's failure to clarify the law does not infringe her human rights.

Lord Justice Scott Baker expressed sympathy for Purdy and others "who wish to know in advance whether they will face prosecution for doing what many would regard as something that the law should permit...". But he said the case would require a change in the law.

However Purdy was given leave to appeal against the decision because of the public interest in the case.

Wheelchair-bound Purdy is worried that her professional musician husband Omar would be treated harshly by the authorities because he is Cuban.

She has argued that if she did not receive assurances that he would not be prosecuted, she would have to travel abroad to commit suicide earlier than necessary.