Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Legalising assisted dying

The law should be changed to allow assisted dying

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 13 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4895
  1. Richard Scheffer, retired consultant in palliative medicine and hospice medical director1
  1. 1North Whilborough TQ12 5LP, UK
  1. richard.scheffer{at}

It is good that an eminent palliative care physician is encouraging debate on assisted dying,1 but that debate must be evidence based.

Noble acknowledges that palliative care cannot relieve all suffering but offers no help to those whose suffering is unendurable. Oregon figures (0.2% of deaths are by assisted dying2) suggest that about 1000 assisted deaths would occur each year in England …

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