Aid in dying

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As Rev Dr Donald MacDonald (Letters, 4 June) is well aware, in non-identifiable surveys many doctors admit to having resorted to euthanasia when palliative care has proved inadequate.

In the early years of my long ministry, the family could be confident medical staff would make every effort to combat pain and ease the final passage of a loved one. Later in my career, as the “Shipman” paranoia descended, I sat by the beds of parishioners in busy wards as they lived out their final days in the grossest indignity and suffering.

In scenes too harrowing to describe it was clear insufficient painkillers were being prescribed because staff feared for their careers in the subsequent inquisitorial post-mortem.

Aid in dying is simply another end-of-life decision and it should be available to patients in extremis because modern medicine too often prevents nature taking its merciful course.

(Rev Dr) John 

Howard Place

St Andrews