Re: Why I’ve changed my views on assisted dying
Dr. David Nicholl's views on assisted dying and his change of opinion about euthanasia is as relevant as that of most of his opposing colleagues (1). It is significant that palliative care doctors, who treat terminally ill patients, are against euthanasia (2)
Why do we need a law of euthanasia? Fabienne Vanheuverbeke committed suicide with the help of a doctor (1) but she could have done so without his help and without having to involve the medical profession.
To introduce assisted suicide, it would be better to contract trained executioners, without involving doctors. Our profession is not meant to kill but to help die. We doctors value human life with functional limitations, and we do know that loss of functional autonomy does not lead to loss of dignity (3).
(1). David Nicholl. Why I’ve changed my views on assisted dying? BMJ 2017;358:j3566
(2). Bridge D. Palliative care, euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. MJA Insights 2017: 10 / 20 March 2017. Accesed in https://www.doctorportal.com.au/mjainsight/2017/10/palliative-care-eutha...
(3). Krahn GL. Reflections on the debate on disability and aid in dying. Disabil Health J. 2010 Jan;3(1):51-5.
Competing interests: No competing interests