Our campaign is supported by the work of My Death, My Decision’s expert medical advisory group (MDMG). The group exists to help advise on clinical matters, and represent medics who support assisted dying reform.
They do this because they recognise from experience that many progressive and neurological conditions can have effects upon their patients which are as bad as terminal illnesses, if not worse. They believe that those facing intolerable and incurable suffering should be given a choice over how and when they die. Membership is free, though it is encouraged for applicants to be paid-up members of My Death, My Decision rather than just supporters. Anyone who is a practising, registered, studying, or retired UK doctor or nurse with relevant experience or interest can apply.
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CHAMPIONING PATIENT END-OF-LIFE CHOICES
Our medical group campaigns for the recognition of assisted dying as a basic healthcare right.
They believe people with terminal or intolerable conditions, should have access to a range of end of life choices, including palliative care, terminal sedation, and assisted dying. In jurisdictions where this approach has been adopted, evidence suggests that end of life care works best when both palliative care and legal assisted dying work together.
They also believe that it is important for medics and nurses, in particular, to recognise their role within the assisted dying debate and contribute their expertise.
TACKLING RESTRICTIONS ON THE DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP
Our medical group believes it is vital that doctors and patients can have an open, frank, and honest conversation about end of life issues. Doctors should feel equipped to talk without fear or embarrassment about dying and encourage their patients to make their wishes known through Advance Decisions or a Lasting Power of Attorney.
If patients also want to ask about ending their lives by going to Switzerland, it is important that doctors should not be prevented from engaging in such conversations, even if only to explain a patient’s condition and alternative options. Pending a change in the law, if ending their life abroad is a patient’s longstanding, voluntary, and informed wish, legal and professional guidance should enable medics to provide medical reports and maintain patient confidentiality.