Fear of dying should not lead to dangerous legal changes

When I began working as a doctor early in the 1970s, end-of-life care was in its infancy.  Cicely Saunders had just begun her pioneering work on what she called “total pain” and very few clinicians knew how to alleviate pain and distress in the dying. Today the situation is transformed. Palliative care has been recognised as a clinical speciality in Britain for 30 years; indeed, the country was ranked in first place in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Quality of Death index. For most people in Britain today, dying does not mean an agonising death, but a gentle ebbing away of life.

Why, then, as medical science has made enormous strides in alleviating the pain and distress of dying, are we seeing relentless campaigning for the legalisation of what is being euphemistically called “assisted dying”?

Read more at The Economist…

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