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The fear of dying in misery in a hospital is driving the assisted dying debate, says medical ethics expert

Date:
May 20, 2015
Source:
Birmingham City University
Summary:
The fear of a miserable death in a hospital bed rather than at home is driving public support for mercy-killing law in the UK, an academic has warned.
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The fear of a miserable death in a hospital bed rather than at home is driving public support for mercy-killing law in the UK, a Birmingham City University academic has warned.

Responding to a report published by The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, listing some of the worst cases in recent years of terminally ill patients dying without dignity, Timothy James, senior lecturer in Medical Law and Ethics at Birmingham City University, said: "For most people, dying at home isn't about autonomy, it's about dealing with the fear of dying in a hospital with poor end of life care. The fear of dying in misery in a hospital is what is driving the assisted dying debate."

"We've known for a long time now that the option should be available for terminally ill patients to die at home. We are seeing too many cases where proper pain control is not being given."

Referring to care in the English NHS, the ombudsman's report details some of the cases investigated over the last four years, including that of a 29-year-old male dying of cancer who was admitted to hospital and left without pain relief for 11 hours.


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Materials provided by Birmingham City University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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Birmingham City University. "The fear of dying in misery in a hospital is driving the assisted dying debate, says medical ethics expert." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520083306.htm>.
Birmingham City University. (2015, May 20). The fear of dying in misery in a hospital is driving the assisted dying debate, says medical ethics expert. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520083306.htm
Birmingham City University. "The fear of dying in misery in a hospital is driving the assisted dying debate, says medical ethics expert." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520083306.htm (accessed May 27, 2017).

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