Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Assisted Dying Bill

No man is an island

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 05 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4950
  1. David I Jeffrey, PhD student and honorary lecturer in palliative medicine, University of Edinburgh1
  1. 1Oxford OX3 9HT, UK
  1. dijeffrey{at}

Delamothe and colleagues’ recent editorial on why the Assisted Dying Bill should become law in England and Wales claims that autonomy is the cardinal principle of medical ethics that justifies the legalisation of assisted dying.1 However, autonomy is a relational concept that involves people considering the effect of their choices on the autonomy of others. As Donne stated, “no man is …

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