Assisting Suicide is no Therapy


Baroness Finlay of Llandaff analyses proposals for the legalisation of assisted suicide

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In this article in The Nordic Journal of Palliative Care, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Professor of Palliative Medicine at Cardiff University and co-Chair of Living and Dying Well, has explored the paradox that, almost pari passu with advances in palliative medicine and care of the dying, there has been a growth in demands for the legalisation of euthanasia in one form or another - euphemistically called 'assisted dying'.  She concludes that these demands have less to do with the relief of terminal illness and more to do with the rise of individualism in society and the desire for personal control.  While accepting that support for or opposition to legalising 'assisted dying' depends to a large extent on personal and social values, she argues that the case against embedding such acts in clinical medicine is particularly strong.  Not only does euthanasia or assisted suicide conflict with good medicine but also setting these practices within the comfort zone of health care disguises their real nature and exposes vulnerable patients to greater risk. 



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