Letter: A doctor's duty and a patient's right to die

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The Independent Online
Sir: We humans are so compassionate about animal suffering, but have another set of rules for humans. How I feel for what Lillian Boyes must have suffered, for her family, and for Dr Nigel Cox.

It reminds me of an experience last year in the US. Friends of mine took their dearly loved, very old and sick dog to the vet. It was agreed that there was nothing more that could be done for the old dog. He was put to sleep so tranquilly they didn't even realise he had gone.

To their amazement my friends saw the vet had tears streaming down his face. 'My father died last week,' he said. 'I was with him at the time. He was in pain beyond painkillers. If only I could have done for him what I have done for your dog.'

Yours faithfully,

NANCIE SWAN

Edinburgh

20 September

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