“What is the point of the life at the last stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia?
The controversial Baroness Mary Warnock, the UK’s most prominent bioethicist, is back in the news again. This time she has condemned doctors who refuse to help terminally ill patients who ask to die as "genuinely wicked". Speaking at a small debate in a Unitarian Church in Belfast, Warnock heightened the pitch of her rhetoric of a campaign to legalise assisted suicide.
"There are doctors, we know, who don’t pay any attention (to advance directives). "But that seems to me a genuinely wicked thing to do – to disregard what somebody had quite explicitly said, that he wants to die – not to be resuscitated in certain circumstances and in certain circumstances to be helped to commit suicide. I believe that if someone is diagnosed as having the beginnings of Alzheimer’s or dementia, at that stage it is a positive duty that doctors should talk to them about what will happen when the moment comes where they reach steep decline."
She also reiterated her opinion that prolonged lives are often useless lives. "The consequence (of living longer] is financial, but much more importantly, I think of the number of people who end their life demented, unable to recognise family, unable do anything for themselves. They can be kept alive and are kept alive, but the question has to be: What is the point of the life at the last stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia?" ~ News Letter, Jan 6
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- Dutch doctors cleared to euthanise dementia patients who have advance directives - November 22, 2020