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Last rights: assisted suicide is neither painless nor dignified

Is euthanasia painless? The founder of the British pro-euthanasia movement (and sometime eugenicist) Dr Killick Millard declared in 1931 that his aim was ‘to substitute for the slow and painful death a quick and painless one’. His sentiment is echoed today by the pro-euthanasia group My Death, My Decision, which says that it wants the ‘option of a peaceful, painless, and dignified death’. The British Medical Association appears to agree and this week dropped its opposition to the Assisted Dying Bill, currently making its way through parliament.

As a doctor and expert witness against the use of lethal injection for execution in America, however, I am quite certain that assisted suicide is not painless or peaceful or dignified. In fact, in the majority of cases, it is a very painful death.

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