Two doctors confess to helping patients to die

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 26 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:205
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. legal correspondent, BMJ

    The highly charged debate over voluntary euthanasia and physician assisted suicide blew up last week when two British doctors confessed to giving lethal doses of drugs to hasten the deaths of terminally ill patients.

    Michael Irwin, chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, told the Sunday Times that he had administered fatal doses to around 50 patients over a 40 year career. Dr Irwin, a retired Sussex GP and former medical director of the United Nations, said that the “double effect principle,” whereby doctors may administer large doses …

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