Duty to dying

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WHAT the Belgian experience of assistance to die teaches us (“We must not open door to euthanasia”, Perspective, 11 October) is not that we shouldn’t provide dying people with the choice to control the time and manner of their death if they consider their suffering unbearable, but rather to make sure we draft the right law with robust and appropriate safeguards.

The Commission on Assisted Dying reviewed evidence from all of those jurisdictions which have legalised and regulated some form of assistance to die, and came to the conclusion that the countries of the UK should enact laws which reflect the practice of those in the US states of Oregon and Washington, which permit assistance to die to terminally ill, mentally competent adults only.

To do otherwise is to turn a blind eye to the suffering of dying people and those taking potentially dangerous decisions on their own without the advice and support of healthcare professionals.

Sir Graeme Catto

Chairman, Dignity in Dying