Would you? The RCP Assisted Dying survey

  Doctors in England are being asked to answer a survey on their attitudes to assisted dying (AD). The Daily Mirror led on it on their front page today (Monday 14th Jan). The Royal College of Physicians wants to be sure that it current oppositional stance is a true representation of members' views, and is prepared... Continue Reading →

The problem of late-stage consent in Assisted Dying

Assisted-dying law in Canada requires the person to be alert and able to provide consent just before their death. The Government of Canada website on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) says, You must be able to give informed consent both: at the time of your request immediately before medical assistance in dying is provided This seemingly... Continue Reading →

This private life

How far does the right to ‘private life’ go? Noel Conway, who has motor neurone disease, feels that his inability to arrange an assisted death without fear of his ‘assistant’ being prosecuted, is an intrusion on his right to private life. He is barred from taking steps to manage his death in the way he... Continue Reading →

Assisted dying – duty and conscience

  However far Noel Conway’s legal challenge to permit a medically assisted death goes, it represents, I believe, a particularly strong wave on the rising tide of argument that will eventually overcome the status quo. Minds are changing, supportive views are being revealed. A recent letter in The Times from Dr David Nichol, a neurologist... Continue Reading →

On the bank of the Rubicon: reflections following a defeat

Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, 49BC   Moves towards legalising assisted dying (AD) screeched to a halt yesterday with an overwhelming majority voting against its progress in the Commons. Despite several attempts to change the law over the last two decades our democracy appears set in its opinion that things should stay as they are.... Continue Reading →

An unacceptable choice? The case of Gill Pharaoh

The assisted suicide of Gill Pharaoh, a retired palliative care nurse who feared the onset of frailty, causes me great confusion as a proponent of assisted dying. The moral arguments for and against such a death are inevitably confused with those related to physician assisted dying (PAD), although the circumstances are entirely different. The PAD... Continue Reading →

Thoughts of a Lord on the eve of a debate

-- Announcement -- Welcome to the blog. Here you will find 100 posts exploring aspects of medicine that have preoccupied or challenged me during training and the first 3 or 4 years as a consultant. I began to write in August 2012, and managed, against expectation, to produce one post a week for two years. I am... Continue Reading →

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