Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Observations Life and Death

What’s wrong with assisted dying

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 29 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3755

Rapid Response:

Re: What’s wrong with assisted dying

Seeking to help terminally ill patients die with dignity at a time and place of their choosing has nothing in common with the murderous activities of Mengele and Shipman who notably failed to take the views of their patients into consideration. The contrived link between these two notorious doctors and the issue of assisted suicide, without justification, emphasises the weakness of the case advanced by Iona Heath.

Opinion polls have consistently demonstrated that 75 – 80% of the population favours a change in the law to allow assisted suicide in specific circumstances. This is a matter for society and parliament to consider. At a time when our profession is under intense scrutiny, we all have a responsibility to express our considered views cogently.

Competing interests: Chair, Dignity in Dying.

06 June 2012
Graeme Catto
Retired Physician
Chair, Dignity in Dying
4 Woodend Avenue, Aberdeen, AB15 6YL