Views And Reviews

The right to die

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6920.66 (Published 01 January 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:66
  1. Anonymous

    I am a veterinary surgeon. I have taken no Hippocratic Oath. When an animal's disease cannot be cured and it is suffering and cannot be relieved I will put it out of its misery. In farm animal work almost every animal that I go to such care in bringing into the world, whose diseases I try to cure, and whose welfare I watch over, is destined to be slaughtered for human and pet consumption. Slaughter houses should be built so that no animal can see another dying. But my own grandfather was put in a ward full of other dying old men to await his own death. It is illegal to allow an animal to suffer any undue pain or distress. But when my friend's spine snapped she was kept alive, to her own and her family's great distress, for a further six months. She had already had both breasts removed and received radiotherapy and chemotherapy in an effort to halt her breast cancer. I have worked with veterinary surgeons since I was a child, and my views on life and death were formed early and have been reinforced by time. …

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