Why doctors oppose Falconer: a medic explains

Spot on

Oxford Students for Life

The author is a medical student currently at Oxford University.

The major organisations representing UK medical professionals have raised their voices in resounding opposition to Lord Falconer’s assisted dying bill. But why? Do they not care about suffering patients? While their position may continue to strike Lord Falconer’s supporters as odd, it turns out that, given their specialized knowledge about care at the end of life, they have very good reasons for opposing the bill.

The medical profession has always understood itself as a healing profession – and intentionally facilitating someone’s death is strikingly contrary to that goal. As put by the Royal College of Physicians: ‘Assisting suicide has been clearly and expressly outside our duty of care since Hippocrates and must remain so for the integrity of these professions and the public good’. The RCP is pointing out that assisted suicide is not medicine and if a physician is asked to…

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2 thoughts on “Why doctors oppose Falconer: a medic explains

  1. Twenty five years ago I contracted a supposedly terminal illness. Wegener’s Granulomatosis (since renamed for the historically sensitive).

    Even though I was in the prime of life, the prognosis was not good as the disease had not been correctly diagnosed for a year.

    I was initially treated with cyclophosphomide (possible side effect: bladder cancer), then azathioprine (skin cancer) then mycophenolate (skin cancer and liver damage) and currently rituximab (I never look up the possible side effect of drugs I’m currently taking!).

    My point is that none of the drugs were viable in the long term. Without amazing advances in the treatment of the disease, my chances with all the drugs except the current one were not good, although with each successive drug they were better.

    When I contracted the disease, I was a partner in a large firm and had three children, 2,4 and 6. The former may not have been much incentive to hang around, but the children were!

    But how different it may have been were I a single chap, ground down at the edges by life. Needless to say, I can’t believe that Falconer is proposing assisted dying. Had I been depressed and a doctor had given me a lethal injection at the age of 35, it would have been little short of assisted murder.

    I believe Lefties are usually the least empathic of people, which is why they become Lefties. They are always looking to serve the people and if it involves killing 20 million of them for their own good, so be it. It is this lack of empathy on the part of Charlie F, both for doctors and patients, that makes him see this as a favourtable option.

  2. Thanks John, a perfect example to show up the stupidity of Falconer and his allies. I suspect that if they had undergone similar experiences, they would think differently. I hope you’re keeping well

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