Medicine And The Media

More openness needed in palliative care

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 08 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1242
  1. Jessica Corner
  1. director and deputy dean (nursing), Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care Studies, Institute of Cancer Research/Royal Marsden NHS Trust, London

    Annie Lindsell's request for a peaceful end to her life has filled many inches of newsprint in the last few weeks. Jessica Corner asks why there is still an element of fudge surrounding such cases.

    See p 1178

    Annie Lindsell, dying of motor neurone disease, this week withdrew her case at the High Court before any ruling was made, because her general practitioner agreed to her request for diamorphine. The papers subsequently declared a victory for Lindsell.

    The Sun's headline “I won right to die,” however, is not reflected in the reporting of her case. Lindsell, we read, “wanted the peace of knowing I could have an injection and that would be the end.” Instead, her general practitioner expects to give her 5 mg of diamorphine every 4–6 hours to …

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