Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
Within minutes of my letter appearing in the printed edition of the
BMJ in which I said "Some may believe that they ought to seek death to
relieve the burden they might impose on their relatives or others," I
received an email from a proponent of the assisted suicide lobby
concluding with the sentence, "From what you write It also seems that
when you become terminally-ill you would be prepared to impose any burden
on your family and friends both physically and financially?"
I suppose if such people were to get their way the problems of top up fees
for expensive cancer treatments and other financial dilemmas of the health
service would be eliminated at a stroke, or rather with a slow intravenous