Many general practitioners are killing or hastening the deaths of their patients, according to an anonymous survey in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Thirty-nine of 693 GPs had performed “some kind of action which would conform to everyday concepts of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia”. In 380 cases, action was taken without consulting the patient, rendering the action “legally dubious”, according to the authors of the survey, even if the patient had been too ill to respond. But in 88 of these cases, there had been no discussion even though the patient was competent.
Like similar surveys in other countries, the NZ study depicts a situation in which many doctors are said to be reluctantly breaking the law, leading to secrecy and psychological stress.
In another development in NZ, euthanasia campaigner Lesley Martin, who is serving 15 months’ jail for the attempted murder of her dying mother in 1999, was told that she would not be allowed to serve her time in home detention. The Parole Board said that she should stay in jail unless she admits that she was wrong to break the law.
- Prescribe morning-after pills to young teenagers, say US pediatric group - November 30, 2012
- Bahrain sentences protest docs to prison - November 28, 2012
- Terry Pratchett assisted suicide documentary wins International Emmy - November 27, 2012