Eminent surgeon joins right-to-die campaign
The heart transplant pioneer Sir Terence English has joined the right-to-die campaign. As one of Britain's most eminent surgeons, and a former president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Sir Terence's involvement will give added impetus to demands for doctors to be allowed to assist terminally ill patients to take their own lives.
Sir Terence, who performed Britain's first successful heart transplant at Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, in 1979, said he would be personally prepared to assist a patient to take their own life provided that he knew the patient was terminally ill, of sound mind and had not been "got at" by friends or relatives.
The former master of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, has joined the Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying group. "I would want there to be safeguards," he said yesterday. "I understand there are many doctors who, as with abortion, would not wish to have anything to do with assisted dying. [But] I think there are enough doctors who feel as I do."
At present, most medical organisations, including the British Medical Association, are opposed to doctors assisting suicide. Only the Royal College of Nursing is neutral on the issue.
Sir Terence's comments come after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, clarified the legal position on assisted dying last year – a move interpreted by many as an indication that friends and family are unlikely to face prosecution if motivated by compassion to help a relative or close friend with a "clear, settled and informed" wish to die.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...