Right to die 2
Re the article on the suffering of Roslyn Metcalfe.
Her sister Gina suffered extensively and committed suicide. Professor John Weaver in his affidavit to the Lucretia Seale’s hearing showed that 5-8% suicides referred to the NZ Coroners Court over 50 years up to 2000, were ‘euthanasia suicides’ i.e. occurred in suffering persons who found they had no way out – the means used were often horrific.
Dr Gwynne-Robson (Hospice doctor) says ‘the doctor must first do no harm’.
I’m sure he means well, but by not providing assisted dying the doctor may, in some cases, do a great deal of harm. For a start they may be forcing the person into risky suicide as happened with Gina.
Secondly, it is clear that palliative and hospice care cannot solve all suffering – so the actions of a doctor such as GwynneRobson may simply extend suffering for the patient and the loved ones.
Thirdly, the doctor may be frequently ignoring the patient wishes because he/ she acts with a fixed attitude, often based on religious belief. This can cause the patient great uncertainty and distress. Some palliative care doctors need to review their opinions.
Dr Jack Havill, Hamilton