Doctors who refuse euthanasia ‘wicked’, expert claims
DOCTORS who refuse to help terminally ill patients to kill themselves when they request to die are “genuinely wicked”, a leading ethics expert has told a public debate in Belfast.
Speaking in favour of euthanasia, Baroness Mary Warnock also said that doctors and nurses should encourage terminally ill patients to decide, while still relatively healthy, whether to be helped commit suicide when they reach a seriously ill state.
Baroness Warnock, who last year caused worldwide controversy when she said that some dementia patients had a “duty” to seek death, said last night: “I think that people should be able to beseech their doctors, nurses to end their life when it is no longer worth living (in the patient’s eyes].”
Speaking of terminally ill patients who, while in good health, have made a written request to be killed when they reach a certain point in their illness, she said: "There are doctors, we know, who don’t pay any attention (to those wishes to die].
"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.
So doctors who refuse to kill are wicked? Does that mean they are virtuous if they don’t even wait for the patient’s request to be put out of his misery?