• Question: What are your views on euthanasia?

    Asked by Ellie to Tuxford, Philly, Nicola, Jo & Lucy, Jamie, Gail, Amanda, Adil on 13 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Jamie Hynes

      Jamie Hynes answered on 13 Mar 2018:

      I don’t think any doctor gets into medicine with the idea of ending the lives of patients.
      I completely understand the desperate situations those with terminal conditions find themselves in and want to exercise their right to decide how and when they die, but I would REALLY struggle with the concept that I could be the person that could either carry out an act that would end their life or give them the means to do so knowing what would happen.
      I think if it became legal there would be many patients with terminal illness that would be vulnerable to being coerced into signing things, with huge conflicts of interest, and so many doctors, myself included, that wouldn’t be prepared to support the action knowing what we know about good quality end-of-life care and communication of the symptoms and issues of the patient.
      It’s a very deep and emotive topic that is debated frequently in medical circles- thankyou for asking it Ellie.

    • Photo: Philippa Horner

      Philippa Horner answered on 14 Mar 2018:

      I think this is a great question, and something that I’m sure everyone working in healthcare has strong opinions on. Whilst there are great advances in providing high quality end of life care, I personally feel that patients, so long as it can be sure that they aren’t being coerced, should have the option to die with dignity if they have a life-limiting illness. There would obviously have to be so many checks and safety measures in place to enable this however, and it is something I would really want to be checked, checked and checked again before it could ever be legalised.

    • Photo: Gail Allsopp

      Gail Allsopp answered on 14 Mar 2018:

      Wow… this is my favourite question so far! Hard one to answer. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside GPs in Holland where euthanasia is legal and I have to be honest it is a wonderful and peaceful way to die if you choose that. Would I choose it for myself? I don’t know but I would like to have the choice. Should it be legalised in the U.K.? Again a really hard question. I would like a choice and I would like others to have a choice but not out of fear or being in pain. It has to be a positive choice for death. If we were to ever legalise it here then we would have to invest millions more into the palliative care services and indeed I think we should anyway. Palliative Care is a speciality that helps people live wtih their life limiting illness in a comfortable and manageable way. If this service was perfect everywhere, some argue that we wouldn’t need euthanasia. I don’t agree. I think everyone should have an equal choice. Choose not to die by euthanasia but if you choose to die by euthanasia then you should not have to travel overseas, away from your home, your family and friends to give you the death you choose. So hard and I’m not sure we will ever have an open debate in this country…..