The Guardian has today published a letter from 27 doctors and two nurses – along with a commentary – in favour of Rob Marris’ Assisted Dying (No 2) Bill, which receives its second reading in the House of Commons this coming Friday 11 September.
Marris wants to make it legal for mentally competent adults with less than six months left to live to commit suicide using lethal drugs prescribed by a doctor.
The Guardian acknowledges that the letter was put together by Jacky Davis, an NHS radiologist and chair of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD), part of the Campaign Group ‘Dignity in Dying’ (DID) (more on HPAD here).
Closer scrutiny shows that this is indeed a letter from the ‘usual suspects’. Amongst the 29 signatories there are:
- five present or past officers of HPAD (see here and here)
- twelve publicly listed HPAD supporters (see here and here)
- two more DiD-linked (see here)
The views of this tiny group of well-known assisted suicide advocates, affiliated to the former Voluntary Euthanasia Society (now DID), are well out of step with the profession at large and every disability rights organisation in the UK.