General Article Need for change

Topic Selected: Euthanasia
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

By Raymond Tallis, Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine, University of Manchester

A few years ago, I was chairing a leading medical ethics committee and we had been asked to consider the first Bill put forward by Lord Joffe to legalise assisted dying for people with terminal illness. We opposed the Bill. Some members of the committee did so on religious grounds or on the basis of what they saw as ethical principles. The hostility of the many, including myself, against the assisted dying legislation was based on assumptions we had about its possible longer-term consequences on the practice of medicine and more broadly in society.

The case for a similar Bill to me now seems clear. Unbearable suffering, prolonged by medical care, and inflicted on a dying patient who wishes to die, is unequivocally a bad thing. And respect for individual autonomy – the right to have one’s choices supported by others, to determine one’s own best interest, when one is of sound mind – is a sovereign ...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for an immediate no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection