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Peers clash over physician assisted suicide

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 30 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2411
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    Doctors who oppose the right of terminally ill patients to physician assisted suicide are putting their own moral principles above those of the patient, declared the eminent philosopher Mary Warnock as she opened a debate on assisted suicide.

    “We would never countenance that in the earlier stages of life,” insisted the peer and former mistress of Girton College, Cambridge.

    “When people say that the trust between doctor and patient would be eroded if assisted suicide were permitted, I think that the opposite is the case.”

    But her fellow peer Ilora Finlay, professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University, said that legalising assisted suicide would be asking doctors, who try to prevent patients committing suicide, …

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