Assisted suicide is "just too dangerous"

Removing end-of-life protections for the vulnerable is the “most dangerous thing you can do”, a palliative medicine consultant has warned.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff said that although Canada was told legalising assisted suicide for those deemed terminally ill would be “really safe”, the law has “expanded more rapidly than anywhere else” and it is now the country’s fifth most frequent cause of death.

She slammed accusations of “fearmongering”, highlighting Denmark’s Ethics Council’s conclusion that is “impossible to establish proper regulation of euthanasia”.


Lady Finlay said: “If the nation wants to have a suicide service, then that is up to the nation and the politicians to set it up.

“But the evidence from Oregon, and from the Netherlands, and certainly from Canada, is that by having this as part of clinical care, making ending patients’ lives a specific treatment is the most dangerous thing you can do.”

She stated: “We’re not fearmongering at all, and Australia and New Zealand are already beginning to find problems even though they thought their legislation was tighter. It is not safe, it is just too dangerous.”

Palliative care

Last month, other medics publicly warned that legalising assisted suicide would damage effective palliative care.

In a letter to The Times, cancer specialist Professor Chris Parker reported that patients already have a “real and distressing fear that their life would be ended against their wishes by their healthcare providers”.