Intended for healthcare professionals


In search of a good death: Human Rights Act 1998 imposes an obligation to facilitate a good death

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 24 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:225
  1. Jo Samanta, lecturer in medical law,
  2. Ash Samanta, consultant rheumatologist (
  1. De Montfort University, Leicester LE1 9BH
  2. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester LE3 9QP

    EDITOR—Ellershaw and Ward argue eloquently for the compassionate care of dying patients.1 We believe that the Human Rights Act 1998 (“the act”) may impose a positive obligation on NHS providers to facilitate a good death.

    The act effectively incorporates the articles of the European Convention of Human Rights into domestic legislation. Article 3 provides for freedom from degrading treatment. …

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