Law has a protective function for both patients and doctors

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7051.227c (Published 27 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:227
  1. Ilora Finlay, senior lecturer in palliative medicine,
  2. Philip Routledge, professor of therapeutics,
  3. Andrew Freedma, consultant in HIV and infectious diseases,
  4. Ken Woodhouse, professor of geriatric medicine,
  5. D P Davies, professor of child health,
  6. A B Hawthorne, consultant gastroenterologist,
  7. Mike Pritchard, consultant rheumatologist,
  8. Molly Hall, consultant general physician and rheumatologist,
  9. Peter Beck, consultant physician,
  10. Clare Wilkinson, senior lecturer in general practice
  1. University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XN

    EDITOR,—“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy”; so wrote F Scott Fitzgerald. Jack Kevorkian is a fanatic, not a hero.1

    There are some practical reasons why the killing of a patient, even when problems seem insurmountable, must remain prohibited in law. The law has a protective function. It protects the vulnerable from misinformation due …

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