Observations

Assisted dying is not the same as euthanasia

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3532 (Published 28 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3532
  1. Ray Tallis, retired professor of geriatric medicine, Stockport
  1. raymond{at}rtallis.wanadoo.co.uk

It should be made clear that no attempts are being made to introduce euthanasia through parliament in England and Wales

In a recent response to The BMJ the retired general practitioner Philip Hartropp raised a key point about the misleading nature of the leaflet from the campaigning group Care Not Killing circulated in a recent edition of the journal.1 Hartropp said, “The ‘FACTS’ put forward by Care Not Killing in their leaflet have evidently been chosen to divert the debate away from assisted dying to assisted suicide/euthanasia and away from sensible and evidence based arguments and into the realm of distorting and scaremongering.” He also pointed out that a consultation conducted by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) from May to October 2013 showed that between 42% and 50% of the college’s membership did not support the college’s current stance of opposition to assisted dying.

I would like to expand on his justified comments regarding the flawed RCGP consultation and to highlight other untruths in the Care Not Killing leaflet.

The leaflet made 12 references to “euthanasia.” It should be made clear that no attempts are being made to introduce euthanasia through parliament in England and Wales. Euthanasia is fundamentally different from what is proposed in Charles Falconer’s Assisted …

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