Calls to expose 'murky' practice of assisted dying

By July 14, 2015 Recent News

Stuff 14 July 2015
Doctors are breaking the law to help patients die, sparking calls for greater exposure of the “murky” practice.
In a poll of general practitioners, conducted by New Zealand Doctor and IMS Health, more than one in 10 said they had helped a “terminally ill and suffering” patient to die. At present, it is unlawful to assist a person in taking their own life.
Even doctors opposed to voluntary euthanasia had to deal with insistent patients or family, with about two out of five surveyed saying they had been asked to help a person to die.
The poll was based on the responses of 110 doctors, a small sample but one that included about 13 doctors who admitted to assisting a patient to die.
New Zealand Medical Association chairman Stephen Child said it was a small survey and could be skewed by the phrasing of the questions. However, it did reflect that some doctors were unlawfully involved in assisted dying.