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Researchers propose new de-medicalized approach to assisted dying

hospital patient
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Three Lancaster University professors have argued that it is time to move beyond a medicalized approach to assisted dying.

Despite growing legal and medical support for assisted dying, many do not want to be directly involved.

Nancy Preston, Sheila Payne, and Suzanne Ost—three leading professors at Lancaster University—have written an opinion piece for the British Medical Journal, exploring whether an enhanced de-medicalized approach, involving organizations outside health care, could help to overcome this.

The debate around assisted dying mainly focuses on whether it should be legalized, rather than how it should be implemented.

Decisions about legalization will be made by politicians. If it is legalized, most people assume it will be part of health care.

Research from Lancaster professors challenges whether this is the best option, and their article in the BMJ discusses an alternative which could provide more support for patients and families seeking an , as well as removing the burden on and involvement from NHS health care workers.

They argue that this option will also offer greater protection for vulnerable patients.

Nancy Preston, Professor of Supportive and Palliative Care at Lancaster University, said, "If the Government makes the decision to legalize assisted dying, it is crucial that equal consideration is given into how it should be implemented.

"The repercussions for patients, their families and could be profound if we don't get this right."

More information: Nancy Preston et al, Breaching the stalemate on assisted dying: it's time to move beyond a medicalised approach, BMJ (2023). DOI: 10.1136/bmj.p1968

Journal information: British Medical Journal (BMJ)
Citation: Researchers propose new de-medicalized approach to assisted dying (2023, August 30) retrieved 22 June 2024 from
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