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Medicine

 

Should assisted suicide be part of medicine? Is it appropriate for doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs? What might be the impact on the doctor-patient relationship? Does a right to die already exist in the UK?

We explore all these vital questions and look at the evidence relating to medicine, assisted suicide and euthanasia?

 


20 October 2021

Association of Palliative Medicine urge Peers to reject Assisted Dying Bill

In a letter to Peers on behalf of the Association of Palliative Medicine, Dr Amy Proffitt (President), Dr Rosie Bronnert…
17 September 2021

Can doctors really be neutral on assisted dying?

The BMA’s decision to adopt a position of neutrality on the vexed question of ‘assisted dying’ was taken following a…
14 September 2021

BMA moves to neutrality on assisted dying by narrow margin

Today the British Medical Association voted to abandon its traditional opposition to assisted dying – a euphemism for assisted suicide…
9 September 2021

Briefing for Doctors: Assisted Dying and Medical Practice

Assisted Dying legislation has enormous impacts for medical practice. A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of those attending the…
10 December 2020

Assisting Suicide – Is this really a role for Doctors?

Next summer at its annual conference the British Medical Association will consider whether it should maintain its opposition to what…
16 April 2020

Caring for your dying relative at home with Covid-19.

A practical guide for caring for your dying loved ones. Ilora Finlay, supporter and board member at Living and Dying…
30 March 2020

Royal College of Physicians clarifies it does not support ‘assisted dying’.

The RCP has made clear in a statement that it does not support a change in the law The Royal…
7 November 2019

Facing Facts: Why Assisted Suicide is Not a Job for Doctors.

A critical examination of how people really die in the UK . In September this year, the campaign group Dignity…
21 March 2019

Result of the RCP consultation on assisted suicide cannot be taken seriously, say peers.

The Royal College pf Physicians has adopted a position of neutrality on physician assisted suicide. The Royal College of Physicians…
28 February 2019

Worcestershire man with MND does not support a change in the law.

John King is ready to die and has opted to have his treatment withdrawn Ludlow and Tenbury Wells Advertiser has…
28 February 2019

The RCP consults on physician assisted suicide: What do the papers have to say?

Here are some press highlights before the consultation closes tomorrow In an article on January 24th, we wrote about the current consultation…
24 January 2019

A travesty of a consultation.

The Royal College of Physicians needs to focus on its role of supporting clinical excellence and not allow itself to…
18 May 2018

Legalising ‘assisted dying’ would have been putting the cart before the horse.

Guernsey has focused on care of the dying rather than on giving them help with suicide The States of Guernsey,…
16 February 2018

No decision about me without me.

If ‘assisted dying’ is a matter for society and not for the medical profession, it is society, through the courts,…
14 February 2018

Who speaks for British doctors?

The BMJ’s one-sided coverage of a complex subject is as sad as it is predictable Senior palliative care doctors have…
7 February 2018

Just how Terminal is Terminal?

Recent admissions by the Oregon Health Authority suggest that that State’s physician-assisted suicide law may have wider parameters that has…
23 January 2018

A book that brings us face to face with ourselves.

“Open discussion reduces superstition and fear, and allows us to be honest with each other at a time when pretence…
27 December 2017

True cost? or true facts?

Living and Dying Well responds to a recent document published by campaigners for physician-assisted suicide. In November 2017 the campaigning…
20 December 2017

Commitment to the facts is needed.

This is a serious matter calling for careful weighing of the evidence and with no place for politically-motivated scaremongering Writing…
15 July 2016

What if…. ‘Assisted Dying’ were to be legalised?

If we are wise, we will learn from the experience of others rather than from our own mistakes In an article published…
23 June 2016

Assisting suicide is not a role for doctors.

On 21 June the British Medical Association, at its Annual Representative Meeting, rejected a Motion that its policy of opposition…
23 June 2016

BMA reaffirms its opposition to physician-assisted suicide.

The BMA has rejected a Motion that it should adopt a policy of neutrality on whether ‘assisted dying’ should be…
8 June 2016

A thoughtful report which deserves careful consideration.

The BMA’s End-of Life Care and Physician-Assisted Dying report contains much valuable material and warrants careful study. The BMA has…
7 June 2016

The BMA should resist attempts to neutralise it in the ‘Assisted Dying’ debate.

Attempts to push the BMA into a position of neutrality on legalisation of assisted suicide are in reality attempts to…
7 June 2016

First, do no harm.

Doctors should stand up the the assisted suicide lobby, says The Daily Telegraph. In an editorial The Daily Telegraph has commented on…
26 May 2016

We need to get to the real problem with dying. Quick fixes are a distraction.

Dying has become too medicalised. Doctors are not there to solve our existential problems. Earlier this year we published a…
26 May 2016

The ‘good death’ – not something for doctors to prescribe.

Assisted suicide is a symptom of a deeper malaise and a distraction In a thoughtful and thought-provoking article in The Guardian Dr…
6 February 2016

Forget ‘Assisted Dying’, we need a debate about dying.

There has been too much focus on what is being called a ‘right to die’ and too little thought given…
18 January 2016

Challenging the conspiracy of silence.

Three generations have been unable to observe the onset and progress of dying at first hand Kathryn Mannix’s paper (“What…
18 January 2016

The changing face of dying.

“We should challenge the conspiracy of silence that leaves many of us to live misinformed and unnecessarily fearful”, says senior…
19 October 2015

UK ranked first for quality of end of life care.

Britain has, once again, been ranked first for quality of end-of-life care. But there is no room for complacency In…
23 September 2015

A better deal for the terminally ill.

Private Member’s Bill seeks to ensure equal access to palliative care for all who need it Baroness Finlay’s Access to Palliative…
30 April 2015

Scotland Assisted Suicide Bill contains significant flaws, says committee

Holyrood’s committee examining Patrick Harvie’s Assisted Suicide Bill is not persuaded by the case for a change in the law…
21 April 2015

A thoughtful and balanced analysis.

Lord Falconer’s Bill should not be revived, says The Times In an editorial published earlier this month The Times took…
3 March 2015

Deaths from euthanasia in The Netherlands in 2013.

he official report for 2013 shows a further substantial increase in numbers The official report of the Dutch Regional Euthanasia…
2 March 2015

A positive agenda for the end of life.

A recently published report introduces a welcome and positive note into choice at the end of life A report published…
18 February 2015

Physician-assisted suicide in Oregon in 2014.

Read the latest official report from Oregon on the operation of that State’s physician-assisted suicide law. Here is the report…
18 February 2015

A sharp upturn in assisted suicide deaths.

Oregon’s latest report raises concerns about the wisdom of such legislation here The latest official report has appeared from Oregon on…
12 December 2014

Assembly of Wales debates and rejects Lord Falconer’s Bill.

Assembly Debate Reveals Serious Concerns Over Lord Falconer’s Bill On 10 December 2014 the Assembly of Wales in Cardiff debated…
12 December 2014

Assembly of Wales debates and rejects Lord Falconer’s Bill.

Assembly Debate Reveals Serious Concerns Over Lord Falconer’s Bill On 10 December 2014 the Assembly of Wales in Cardiff debated…
27 November 2014

Royal College of Physicians reaffirms opposition to assisted suicide.

Following a consultation of its membership the RCP has reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide A survey of its Members by the…
17 October 2014

The Crown Prosecution Service provides a clarification

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has published a clarification of one aspect of its Policy for Prosecutors governing cases of…
6 June 2014

Association of British Neurologists: ‘Assisted Dying’.

Conclusions of the working party of the Association of British Neurologists In April 2011 the Association of British Neurologists (ABN)…
5 June 2014

Assisted Dying Bill: Can you really tell if someone’s of sound and settled mind for suicide?

‘Assessing mental capacity isn’t like checking the oil level in a car: it’s a complex business’ – an article by…
8 April 2014

Doctors fail to spot symptoms of depression in 9 out of 10 elderly people.

The Times reports on “our next big public health problem”The Times has reported (£) on revelations by James Warner, Chair of…
24 February 2014

RCGP announces continued opposition to change in law on ‘Assisted Dying’.

77% of members say that the Royal College of General Practitioners should maintain opposition to physician-assisted suicide The Royal College…
24 February 2014

A clear decision from the consulting room.

GPs make their position clear on physician-assisted suicide The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has announced that it is…
16 December 2013

The demise of the Liverpool Care Pathway: should we ban the highway code because of bad drivers?

An article by Claud Regnard on the report on the use and experience of the Liverpool Care Pathway In an…
10 September 2013

“An issue which goes to the heart of medicine”.

The RCGP is holding a consultation on ‘assisted dying’ which closes on 9 October. The British Journal of General Practice…
1 September 2013

“No decision about me without me”.

Professor Finlay urges GPs to participate in the RCGP’s consultation on ‘assisted dying’. In an article in the British Journal…
16 July 2013

Mental capacity and assisted suicide.

To what extent can mental capacity be reliably assessed in patients seeking physician-assisted suicide? In a report published today, psychiatrist…
15 July 2013

More care, less pathway.

A Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway Early in 2013 Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care Support, asked…
13 July 2013

Of sound mind for suicide?

Mental capacity assessment is challenging enough at the best of times: to ask doctors to do it with a patient’s…
16 May 2013

Assisting a patient’s suicide is not part of a doctor’s role.

“Laws have to be designed to work safely in the real world,” writes Baroness Finlay in The Times In an…
9 April 2013

This is not what the debate is about.

Joan Bakewell is confusing end-of-life with ending-life decisions Every patient has the right to refuse medical treatment, even if the…
5 April 2013

The Liverpool Care Pathway – what are we to make of the controversy?

Press stories can be helpful in raising awareness that something may be wrong. But, unless they are followed up with…
27 March 2013

Nursing is a privilege, not just a tick in a box.

“We need to embed a culture of compassionate, hands-on care in nursing if we are to prevent another Mid Staffs”.…
8 February 2013

Only 20 per cent of doctors would perform euthanasia if legal, poll finds.

“Only one in five doctors surveyed by the Canadian Medical Association said they would be willing to perform euthanasia if…
31 January 2013

GMC: Guidance relating to encouraging or assisting suicide.

The General Medical Council, which regulates medical practice in the UK, has published guidance for the Investigation Committee and for…
31 January 2013

GMC: When a patient seeks advice or information about assistance to die.

GMC Guidance to doctors on patient requests for assisted suicide The General Medical Council, which regulates medical practice in the UK,…
15 January 2013

Baroness Neuberger to investigate claims on care for dying patients.

Care Services Minister, Norman Lamb, appoints Peer to carry out a review of the Liverpool Care Pathway after months of…
15 January 2013

NHS: Liverpool Care Pathway

In an oral answer to Baroness Knight of Collingtree, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department of Health announces…
13 January 2013

The Liverpool Care Pathway to dignity in death.

“My grandfather’s lingering demise shows why we need protocols for palliative care”. Dr Max Pemberton recalls his grandfather’s experience of…
8 January 2013

Hospitals treating Liverpool Care Pathway as just ‘another thing to do’.

Hospitals are placing patients on the controversial “pathway” to death without proper training for staff or even understanding how it…
8 January 2013

House of Commons debate on the Liverpool Care Pathway: Westminster Hall.

In the wake of sensationalist headlines and multiple allegations, Glyn Davies MP tables a debate on the topical Liverpool Care…
8 December 2012

The case for neutrality on assisted dying – A personal view.

In an article for the British Journal of General Practice Dr Clare Gerada argues for neutrality of the medical colleges…
13 November 2012

King’s College London – Assisted dying debate.

The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery hosts a debate on the subject of ‘assisted dying’ We provide here…
29 July 2012

Don’t push me onto the death path, doc.

Patient resistance is growing to an NHS ‘care pathway’ for the terminally ill that critics fear is euthanasia by the…
12 July 2012

Redefining physicians’ role in assisted dying.

Can ‘assisted dying’ be implemented outside of medicine? In an article for The New England Journal of Medicine Dr Lisa Lehmann…
5 June 2012

Tony Nicklinson and a doctor’s take on assisted dying.

A GP reveals concerns about the potential legalisation of euthanasia Journalist Alan White feels that an absent voice in the…
5 January 2012

Sick people need help to live, not help to die.

Proposals on assisted dying by Lord Falconer are not supported by the medical profession. On the day that Lord Falconer’s self-styled commission…
20 October 2011

Royal College of Nursing: When someone asks for your assistance to die.

Royal College of Nursing guidance on responding to a request to hasten death In October 2011 the Royal College of…
7 June 2011

Exploring the concept of assisted dying in the UK.

An article published in the Nursing Standard puts the case for ‘assisted dying’. This article discusses the concepts of euthanasia,…
31 January 2011

Dealing with false perceptions of death and dying.

Dr Charles Skinner provides an overview of the practice of palliative care in the UK in the context of the…
31 January 2011

Paliative care: What is it? and what has it got to do with ‘Assisted Dying’?

An analysis of the place of palliative care in Britain and its relation to ‘assisted dying’. Dr Charles Skinner, a…
15 September 2010

Assisted suicide: Why psychiatrists should engage in the debat (British Journal of Psychiatry).

Matthew Hotopf, William Lee and Annabel Price set out the need for psychiatrists to engage in the ‘assisted dying’ debate…
14 July 2010

The quality of death: UK ranked first in quality of end-of-life-care.

A Report from the Economist Intelligence Unit In this international survey of end-of-life care The Economist Intelligence Unit observes that…
19 June 2010

How the mass media report social statistics – a case study.

 case study concerning research on end-of-life decisions In this 2010 case study, published in Social Science and Medicine, Professor Clive…
17 May 2010

The role of doctors’ religious faith and ethnicity in taking ethically controversial decisions during end-of-life care.

Professor Clive Seale analyses the role of doctors’ faith and ethnicity in end-of-life decision-making In this report published in 2010…
19 March 2010

Mum wanted to die, but convincing her to live gave us a gift beyond measure.

In an article in The Daily Mail Baroness Finlay of Llandaff (left, as a child) writes about her mother’s battle with…
1 April 2008

Assisting suicide is no therapy.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff analyses proposals for the legalisation of assisted suicide In this article in The Nordic Journal of…
6 March 2003

Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act: 2002 Annual Report

Official report on the implementation of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon in 2002. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act (DWDA), enacted in…

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