Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Legalising assisted dying

What do families and professional organisations really think about assisted dying?

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 13 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4912
  1. Simon Kenwright, retired physician1
  1. 1Ashford TN25 6BD, UK
  1. SimonKenwright{at}

Noble highlights some dilemmas around assisted dying for the terminally ill, but—despite his personal anecdotes—there is little hard evidence about how families pressurise patients into making clinical decisions, let alone whether these pressures agree with the wishes of the patient.1

Families generally push for more aggressive treatment, even when this seems inappropriate medically. We …

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