Minerva

Motorcyclists’ clothes and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8498 (Published 02 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:e8498

Re: Motorcyclists’ clothes and other stories . . .

Madam

Minerva and Clare Gerada (BMJ 2013;346:e8498) are surely mistaken
in asserting that representative medical bodies like the Royal Colleges,
should adopt a so-called "neutral" position on assisted suicide and
euthanasia.

The Royal Colleges have historically, and rightly still, make their voices
heard on matters concerned with public safety, even where these involve
issues of personal choice, such as smoking, alcohol consumption or use
of seat belts. Moreover they have not been afraid to campaign forcefully
on these issues with a clear presumption in favour of protecting life. Why
suddenly ought they to remain silent before the threat of doctors killing
patients, not least after the recent massive outpouring of public distress
over not merely matters of consent over the use of the Liverpool Care
Pathway, but clear evidence of its misapplication and abuse?

Yours etc

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 January 2013
Ronald J Clearkin
Retired Consultant Physician
Retired
Market Harborough, Leics LE16 8EL
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