Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

Assisted dying: your vote counts

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m646 (Published 20 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m646

Rapid Response:

Re: Assisted dying: your vote counts

Dear Editor
In claiming that "The BMJ has long advocated for a change in the law in assisted dying", could I ask the editorial team how much time they have dedicated to advocating to the care of all the dying? If they were to look back through their articles, how many have been advocating for assisted dying and how many advocating for the vital steps needed to improve care of all dying people?
I am not against assisted dying but you cannot argue that people will be free of coercion to make these decisions until we offer the highest quality, properly funded end of life care with clinical staff effectively trained with the communication skills, attitude and knowledge to best manage the last stage of someone's life.
Can we campaign vociferously for this first before we move onto assisted dying?

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 February 2020
Andrew Thorns
Consultant in Palliative Medicine
Pilgrims Hospice in East Kent