Last week the so called Dr Death entered the UK for the purpose of providing “Safe Suicide Workshops”, he did so as a climate of fear hit doctors after new guidelines stated that doctors could be prosecuted for assisting their patients with suicide.

New guidelines on assisted suicide have put doctors at risk of prosecution

The guidelines which were released last month provide a list of circumstances which will be taken into account when deciding if cases should be brought.

So where do the new guidelines leave doctors?

Well the new proposals include a section arguing in favour of the prosecution of doctors, which was not included in the original proposals.

Also if someone is unknown to a victim and assisted by providing specific information to assist someone in committed suicide, then a prosecution is more likely.

Furthermore it is more likely if someone gives assistance to more than one victim who are not know to one another.

So not only do these guidelines risk prosecuting doctors who run workshops on suicide but it also places the average general practitioner in a very difficult position.

Patients could ask doctors for advice about suicide, they must not engage in discussion or prosecution could potentially be brought.

Also patients with chronic or deliberating illness may require a medical report before they can travel. If they are requesting this so they can travel to a country where euthanasia is legal then the doctor has effectively assisted their suicide and could be prosecuted.

Dr Nick Clements head of medical services at MPS told Pulse Magazine:

“We are advising GPs who have even the slightest suspicion that their patient may be planning an assisted suicide to proceed with extreme caution and not to comply with requests for medical or travel reports in these cases.”

But will the risk of prosecuting doctors not lead to further problems? Doctors have a position of trust, if they are constantly questioning the chronically ill whenever they want to travel out of the country is it not going to create more harm than good?

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