Palliative drugs are not for shortening life

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7114.1018 (Published 18 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1018
  1. David Oliver, Consultant physician in palliative medicinea
  1. a Wisdom Hospice, Rochester ME1 2NU

    Editor—Clare Dyer's report about Annie Lindsell, who has motor neurone disease, suggests that she may still be trying to ensure that her life can be ended at her request when she feels that she cannot face any further distress.1 She wants her general practitioner to be lawfully able to give drugs to relieve her distress in the terminal stages of the illness, even if this could shorten her life.

    Although patients with motor neurone disease are understandably worried about their future and the possibility of …

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