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Complainant Name:
Dr Brian Iddon MP

Clauses Noted: 5

Publication: The Sunday Times


Dr Brian Iddon MP, Chairman of the Care Not Killing Alliance, complained that an article reporting on the efforts of a campaign group lobbying for the introduction of assisted dying in Britain contained excessive detail about the withdrawal of all food and drink as a method of suicide.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the complainant's letter in the following terms:

You recently reported on a booklet produced by a group of activists seeking to change the law to legalise assisted suicide (Terminally ill opt for suicide by starvation, March 8). We at the Care Not Killing Alliance consider that this article contained excessive detail about this method of suicide - the withdrawal of all food and drink.

Not only is the total cessation of eating and drinking likely to be extremely painful, as acknowledged in the article, but it is arguably illegal under section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 - it would, I would think, certainly be so under the proposals contained in the government's Coroners and Justice Bill, now before parliament. Sedation of a patient who has chosen to commit suicide through dehydration and starvation is not palliative care, in my opinion.

We welcome a public debate on these matters, but we hope that any future article contains fewer details of the methods that can be used and includes comments from those opposed to the campaign for legally assisted suicide in Britain.

Report: 79

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