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Saturday, 31 March 2007

Publicity for pro-life stand against euthanasia

Edmund put me on to a good article in yesterday's Daily Mail in advance of the Mental Capacity Act coming into force this Palm Sunday. The article is headed, We'll fight backdoor euthanasia and risk jail say doctors and it is good to see two senior doctors quoted:
Philip Howard, a London gastroenterology consultant, said that he would not withdraw or withhold artificial nutrition and hydration even when it was specified in an advance decision.

"No patient should die as a result of dehydration and no patient should be allowed to die in a state of unrelieved thirst," he insisted. "It is my practice never to allow a patient to die of unremitting thirst."

Dr Howard added that a number of his colleagues had made clear "deep concern that patients may be dehydrated at the end of their lives".

Consultant geriatric psychiatrist Adrian Treloar said: "If I am asked, will I kill a patient under the Mental Capacity Act? the answer is 'no'.

"People who make living wills or support the idea should ask themselves if they really want a doctor to stop treating them or would they rely on that doctor risking a jail sentence?"
It is very good to see such senior figures in the medical world speaking such good sense.
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