How can doctors support cruelty of prolonging agony?

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Professor Baroness of Finlay of Llandaff. FRCP. FRCGP. and President of the British Medical Association, in her letter (January 29) outlines the BMA’s opposition to the ‘Dignity in Dying’ bill being debated in the House of Lords.

I acknowledge without question, that this most esteemed, professionally qualified lady, in the specialist field of medicine, certainly has much more medical knowledge than me.



However, what concerns me most, makes me wonder if this lady has ever suffered such agonising pain, along with horrendous infirmity 24/7, that others have been through, knowing, that they have been diagnosed as being terminally ill, where death awaits them as each painful day passes.

No-one, myself included, can understand what mental or physical hell, or in some cases both, these people are going through.

I have little doubt, if they had the opportunity to end their life, like every able-bodied person can do, they would gladly make use of such an opportunity.

I have the highest respect for those in the medical profession. I have always been treated with the utmost compassion for any illness I had.

Hence I find it difficult to accept that the BMA can align itself to (what I consider) cruelty inflicted upon another human being, by force-feeding and pumping them with drugs, just to keep them alive, prolonging their agony.

It is with respect, that I ask the Professor Baroness Finlay of Llandaff to enlighten me, with her reasons for opposing this bill.

Harry Stephenson