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UK less willing to assist death

16th October 2006
14032006_SyringePink1.jpgTerminally-ill patients are less likely to find willing doctors to assist their death in the UK than elsewhere in Europe, according to new research.

UK doctors are far more cautious in taking part in euthanasia, and when they do help, most only agree when the patient has less than a week to live.

Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide have been legalised in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland but are illegal and rare in the UK.

The research, set to be published in the Palliative Medicine journal, is based on a survey of 857 doctors.

Report author, Professor Clive Seale, had found in earlier research that less than one per cent of all UK deaths in 2004 were by euthanasia, and few supported moves to legalise euthanasia.

In his latest research, he has compared the attitudes of UK doctors with those in the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. He found UK doctors were more likely to discuss the issue with peers, but were more cautious about carrying it out.

Reasons for his findings varied from the UK's medical culture of shared decision-making and palliative care to fear of criticism or prosecution because of cases like Harold Shipman.

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Charlotte Peters Rock

Monday 16th October 2006 @ 23:18

In the case of my father, Ralph Winstanley, doctors were only too keen to assist him to die. Unfortunately, he had not been dying, nor close to death, nor asking for help to die.
In fact he was stating that he was not in any pain, as they shoved first one and then two syringe-driver needles into his protesting body.


Doctors and nurses [...] continued with his killing, even though both of his own two daughters were protesting that he had not been dying; a fact proved by the documents which they managed to gain after he died.

But no-one will do anything to bring these people to account for this killing.

All help would be grateully recieved. Please look at http://ralphwinstanleyofwath.blogspot.com and make up your own mind.


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