Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Moral Muddle on Medical Murder

Hemlock Society founder Derek Humphrey had an article on his blog about one of his acolytes who complained to some members of an local euthanasia group that medical serial killer Harold Shipman ruined everything for doctors who used help patients commit suicide.

Doctors no longer help terminally ill patients to enjoy a peaceful death because of the Harold Shipman case, according to a leading consultant.

Speaking in Glasgow, Simon Kenwright, a semi-retired consultant gastroenteologist from East Kent hospital, said fears of prosecution are affecting patient treatment.

In a lecture to 100 members of Friends at the end (Fate), the euthanasia organisation, he said such changes makes the need for legislation to allow assisted dying for the terminally ill more urgent.

Dr Kenwright said that in decades past, doctors would help critically ill patients to shorten their lives peacefully but that the fear of prosecution following the case of Harold Shipman, the serial killer, means such treatment is no longer available.

His call for a change in the law comes less than two weeks after The Herald revealed that a prominent Scottish businesswoman chose to end her life at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.

If the claim that illegal assisted suicide was rampant is true, that helps explain why Shipman's body count was so high. How many of his colleagues looked the other way? Were coroners that accustomed to not questioning the cause of death? So how much less safe will the elderly and disabled be if euthanasia is legalized?
papijoe 9:24 AM