Guides for people considering their future health care

Catholic Health Australia has prepared a guide for people considering their future health care needs as well as a guide for health care professionals. The guide is described as being consistent with Catholic principles as well as with good secular ethics.

The documents have been approved by the Committee for Doctrine and Morals of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference.

The guide for people considering their future health care provides a model statement along with a commentary designed to inform them of the issues that need to be taken into account and assist them with their planning.

The document notes, in particular: "Given the continuing debates over euthanasia and the withdrawal of medical treatment, it is important to state explicitly that you do want life-sustaining treatment that is reasonable to be provided unless it becomes futile or overly burdensome."

These guides can be accessed from the Catholic Health Australia website

 The National Advance Care Planning Cooperative (New Zealand) has also produced a comprehensive guide for the New Zealand health care workforce on Advance Care Planning.

The guide notes that while effective Advance Care Planning does not necessarily require a written advance directive, "there is no doubt ... that a documented advance directive or advance Catholic Health Australia has prepared a guide for people considering their future health care needs as well as a guide for health care professionals. The guide is described as being consistent with Catholic principles as well as with good secular ethics.

The documents have been approved by the Committee for Doctrine and Morals of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference.

The guide for people considering their future health care provides a model statement along with a commentary designed to inform them of the issues that need to be taken into account and assist them with their planning.

The document notes, in particular: "Given the continuing debates over euthanasia and the withdrawal of medical treatment, it is important to state explicitly that you do want life-sustaining treatment that is reasonable to be provided unless it becomes futile or overly burdensome."

These guides can be accessed from the Catholic Health Australia website:

http://www.cha.org.au/site.php?id=223

The National Advance Care Planning Cooperative (New Zealand) has also produced a comprehensive guide for the New Zealand health care workforce on Advance Care Planning.

The guide notes that while effective Advance Care Planning does not necessarily require a written advance directive, "there is no doubt ... that a documented advance directive or advance care plan arising from a well-informed discussion involving both the individual and the health care professional(s) is more likely to meet the criteria for validity than an unrecorded oral directive or plan, or an advance directive drafted either by the individual on their own or as a legal document in isolation from health care professionals."

The workforce guide also notes: "In the New Zealand context it is likely but as yet legally untested that a written advance care plan would constitute an advance directive for legal purposes." For this document go to: http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/advance-care-planning-aug11

A resource aimed specifically at consumers (both patients and their families/whanau) has been produced to complement this document. See: www.advancecareplanning.org.nz.

care plan arising from a well-informed discussion involving both the individual and the health care professional(s) is more likely to meet the criteria for validity than an unrecorded oral directive or plan, or an advance directive drafted either by the individual on their own or as a legal document in isolation from health care professionals."

The workforce guide also notes: "In the New Zealand context it is likely but as yet legally untested that a written advance care plan would constitute an advance directive for legal purposes." For this document go to: http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/advance-care-planning-aug11

A resource aimed specifically at consumers (both patients and their families/whanau) has been produced to complement this document. See: www.advancecareplanning.org.nz.

Advance Directives: A view from the office of the Health and Disability Commissioner

From time to time tensions may arise when patients or their families either request a treatment that is deemed to be clinically inappropriate or when they wish to refuse a treatment that is clinically appropriate and which is commensurate with a health professional's duty to provide the necessaries of life.

In light of recent increased interest in the question of Advance Directives, the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner has provided the following article which describes the current legal situation in New Zealand.

Introduction

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights (the Code) is of particular relevance to advancing illness and end of life care as it recognises key patient rights, such as the right to dignity and independence; the right to services provided in a manner that optimises the patient's quality of care; the right to continuity of care and the right to open and honest discussion about the patient's conditions and options for care. The situations in which life prolonging treatment may be withheld or withdrawn differ according to whether the treatment is, or is not, clinically appropriate.

Treatment clinically appropriate

A provider may decide that non-treatment or withdrawal of treatment is clinically appropriate, for example if the treatment is futile and is causing suffering. If the withdrawal of life prolonging treatment is in keeping with good medical practice, the providers responsible have a lawful excuse for not providing treatment. With regard to a decision to withdraw life support, the High Court has defined 'good medical practice' as requiring:

• A decision in good faith that withdrawal of the life support system was in the best interests of the patient.

• Conformity with prevailing medical standards and with practices, procedures and traditions commanding general approval within the medical profession.

• Consultation with appropriate medical specialists and the medical profession's registered ethical body.

• The fully informed consent of the family.

However, in a later case, the Court of Appeal decided that the consent of the family was not required for the provision of treatment to or the withdrawal of treatment from an incompetent patient. The provider is only required to undertake reasonable consultation and then take into account the views of the family. If the decision raises significant ethical issues, rather than issues of clinical judgment, then Ethics Committee consultation and approval may still be required.

Right 7(4) of the Code provides that if a person is not competent and there is no one entitled to consent on their behalf, the provider may provide services where it is in the best interests of the patient. Reasonable steps must be taken to ascertain the patient's views and the steps taken must be consistent with what the patient would have wanted if they were competent. If the patient's views are not known, the provider may take into account the views of available persons who are interested in the person's welfare. In such a case, following consultation, the decision about provision or withdrawal of treatment is made by the provider in the best interests of the patient.

Advance directives

An advance directive can only be made by a competent person regarding his or her own future treatment. It must be intended to be effective when the person becomes incompetent. An advance directive does not have any effect while the person is competent. Right 7(5) of the Code provides 'every consumer may make an advance directive in accordance with the common law'.

Advance directives enable patients to indicate in advance their objection to or prohibition of the provision of treatment which would otherwise be provided. They may also specify the type of treatment they would wish to undergo should they become incompetent.

Advance directives do not have to be in any particular form and do not have to be in writing. However, advance directives may fail because the intention was unclear. If a valid advance directive exists the directions must be respected as it is legally binding. The right to refuse medical treatment is so fundamental that it is recognised in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (section 11). An advance directive may also be used to express a preference about which of two viable treatment options are to be supplied.

An advance directive refusing future treatment can excuse health professionals from providing treatment which they would otherwise be under a duty to provide. Advance directives can make the provision of such treatment unlawful.

Do Not Resuscitate Orders

A 'Do Not Resuscitate' order (DNR order) is a form of advance directive. A competent person can direct that should they suffer a medical event in which cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is clinically appropriate, they do not wish such resuscitation to be provided. This is a limited form of advance directive and does not refer to any other life prolonging treatment that might be required.

CPR is not generally clinically appropriate where it is considered futile or medically contraindicated. Resuscitation is a medical issue for the doctor responsible for the patient's care and if resuscitation is not clinically appropriate it should not be provided. If a doctor decides that future resuscitation of the patient is not clinically indicated, the doctor may put a non-resuscitation order in place as part of the patient's overall future care plan. In such situations the doctor should discuss the decision with the patient and/or suitable persons who are interested in the welfare of the patient.

It is important to note that a patient's enduring power of attorney, welfare guardian or family members are not able to refuse clinically indicated CPR or any other clinically indicated treatment.

Conclusion

An advance directive is a written or oral directive made by a competent person about their future care. A DNR order is a type of advance directive. A patient is entitled to refuse treatment and may do so by way of an advance directive made prior to becoming incompetent or a competent patient may refuse consent at the time of treatment. An attorney appointed under enduring power of attorney or a welfare guardian may not refuse consent to standard medical treatment or any procedure intended to save the patient's life or prevent serious damage to their health. Family members who have not been appointed as the patient's enduring power of attorney or welfare guardian do not have the power to consent to, or refuse treatment, although clinicians should consult the family when making decisions under Right 7(4) of the Code.

Dr Cordelia Thomas is the Specialist Senior Legal Advisor for the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner


Footnotes

1Auckland Area Health Board v Attorney General [1993] 1 NZLR 235 (HC).

2 Shortland v Northland Health Limited [1998] 1 NZLR 433 (CA).

3 Sometimes referred to as a 'living will' this is a written or oral directive by which a person makes a choice about a possible future health care procedure.

4 Code of Rights Clause 4.

The Last Word - The Catholic case for advance directives

Daniel P Sulmasy

Out of fear that euthanasia and assisted suicide may be legalized, some Catholic commentators have raised questions about the ethics of advance directives for medical decisions. They have almost made it seem as if such documents are intrinsically tied to the "culture of death" and ought to be avoided by faithful Catholics. This is a mistaken view.

An advance directive is a document, like a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, by which a person provides guidance for others who may be called upon to make medical decisions on behalf of the issuer of the directive if he or she is unable to do so.

Like any good thing, advance directives are susceptible to abuse, but they are not intrinsically connected with euthanasia. Although not a panacea, they can be very useful. Advance directives should be viewed by Catholic Christians as tools to help families and physicians make good decisions about patients who cannot speak for themselves at the end of life. They fit squarely within the Catholic tradition of forgoing extraordinary means of care, a tradition that springs from four natural law principles that can be held independent of any faith commitments.

The first principle is the dignity of the human person. Each individual, by virtue of being human, has an intrinsic value Catholics call dignity. This is the fundamental principle of all interpersonal morality. Medicine reaches out to the sick first and foremost because each person has an intrinsic dignity.

The second principle is the duty to preserve life. This duty, while not absolute, is based on natural instincts, gratitude for the gift of life and duties to fulfill responsibilities toward others.

The third principle is the fact of finitude. Human beings are finite. People get sick; they die. Medicine is a finite craft, and all patients ultimately die. Individual and collective resources are also finite.

The fourth principle is the diversity of the human. Individuals are different from each other in all sorts of ways. Decisions must take into account the uniqueness of each case.

Extraordinary Meanings

Suicide and euthanasia are considered immoral because they violate the dignity of the person and undermine the duty to preserve life, which can never be made consistent with a direct intention to eliminate life. Western moral thinking, however, has always recognized the fact of finitude. The duty to preserve life, therefore, is limited. Hippocrates does not counsel physicians to keep treating patients to the bitter end. Rather, he urges physicians not to treat those who are "overmastered" by disease, recognizing that "in such cases medicine is powerless." Today, it is recognized that even with the most sophisticated technology, doctors cannot keep patients alive forever.

It is from these principles, simultaneously affirming the dignity of the human person and human finitude, that the moral tradition of forgoing extraordinary means of care arose. To say that an intervention is extraordinary signifies that its use is optional—that one need not use it. One should not be confused by the use of the words ordinary and extraordinary in everyday speech. Extraordinary is used here as a technical term meaning non-obligatory, and ordinary is used to mean obligatory.

By tradition, an intervention is deemed extraordinary if it is futile, that is, if it will not work (will not cure the patient, reverse the condition or appreciably forestall an imminent death) or if the burdens imposed by the intervention—physically, psychologically, socially, economically, morally and spiritually—outweigh the benefits. By tradition, one does not focus on the intervention itself, a priori, divorced from a case. The adjectives ordinary and extraordinary modify one's duty to use an intervention; they do not modify machines or treatments. That means one can never say, "This treatment is always ordinary," or "That treatment is always extraordinary."

In keeping with the principle of diversity, these judgments always depend upon the circumstances. So, for example, one can never say, "Ventilators are extraordinary and antibiotics are ordinary." Surgery for a ruptured appendix, for instance, might require a ventilator. Other things being equal, the duty to use a ventilator would be ordinary in such circumstances. But in the case of pneumonia in a patient with untreatable metastatic or widespread cancer, a ventilator might not appreciably forestall an imminent death. Even if not strictly futile, the burdens could certainly be judged to outweigh the benefits and so the duty to use the very same machine, a ventilator, would be extraordinary in such circumstances. Even antibiotics could be considered an extraordinary means in such a case. Since antibiotics would preserve the patient's life perhaps a few hours or days, in this case even the burden of being stuck with a needle could be judged to outweigh the benefits. In such circumstances, the duty to use antibiotics would be morally optional. No intervention can be judged ordinary or extraordinary apart from the circumstances.

The Patient's Perspective

The Catholic tradition of forgoing extraordinary means of care has always examined these cases from the perspective of the patient, asking only whether it would be reasonable, in the patient's circumstances and in the patient's judgment, to forgo the intervention. The perspective is not that of the physician or the family in light of their duties toward the patient, but is instead that of the patient who has a duty to preserve his or her own life. The patient traditionally has been given wide latitude in deciding what is extraordinary, within the bounds of reason and the judgment of the community. The limits are broadly drawn, not because of any notion of unrestrained autonomy, but because of the fact of diversity. People do, in fact, differ. They have different pain thresholds. They react differently to the same medicine. They have differing psychological, social, economic, moral and spiritual resources. No one understands this as well as the patient.

Thus, if a patient had lymphoma, a type of cancer, and had failed five treatments, all with terrible side effects, and the oncologist were to offer a sixth treatment, a patient might well judge this to be too much to ask—an extraordinary treatment. Another patient with the same lymphoma, having failed the same five treatments, although without such bad side effects, who might be looking forward to a daughter's marriage in two months' time, might consider the treatment worthwhile. It would depend upon each of them as individuals, not upon judgments about chemotherapy abstracted (a priori) from the individual's case.

If a patient becomes unable to think or communicate, treatment decisions have rested not with the physician, but with the family. The traditional moral viewpoint assumed by the family was always that of the patient. "Knowing our son," or "knowing my wife," these burdens are too great relative to the benefits. This is natural. This is traditional. The family knows the patient better than the physician does.

Relieving the Burden

Advance directives help put the focus back where it should be—where families, friends, pastors, physicians and the law all should have their focus—squarely on the patient. In the 21st century, advance directives have become useful instruments for carrying out traditional morality. This is primarily because so many people now die after they have already lost their decision-making capacity. Because of medical successes against cancer and heart disease, more people will live long enough to succumb to Alzheimer's disease, for example. People who used to be dead within hours from septic shock can now survive in intensive care units. But this success comes at a price. While some will survive, most will still die after having spent weeks on life support, unable to speak for themselves. Studies have shown that as much as 86 percent of the time, judgments to forgo cardiopulmonary resuscitation are made when the patient cannot participate in the decision. There is almost a moral imperative for people, realizing that they very well might die in a state of mental incapacity and aware that each is the best judge of his or her own limits, to execute advance directives in order to assist those who will make decisions for them.

The second reason to reconsider the value of advance directives is the power of medical technology. An advance directive is not an arcane abstraction. With so many possible treatments, studies now demonstrate that approximately 90 percent of hospitalized patients die after a decision to forgo a procedure that could have been tried. One of the burdens of contemporary medical technology accompanying its many benefits is the responsibility for deciding when not to use it. Otherwise people will become prisoners of technology.

The third reason is the great weight that falls upon loved ones. Studies have shown that making these decisions is exceedingly stressful for families—equivalent to the stress of having survived a house fire or other calamity. These studies also show that when a patient has filled out an advance directive, the stress levels of loved ones are significantly lower.

Fourth, increasing numbers of persons have no families to make decisions for them as they are dying. Sometimes this is caused by social ills—drug addiction, broken families and the like. Sometimes this is because women outlive all the persons for whom they had cared over most of their lives, dwell alone and have no one they would trust to make decisions for them. How else are decisions to be made for such persons?

Finally, families sometimes are unable to agree on decisions at the end of life. The dying process can expose old family wounds; and the consequence is, as a default, the continuation of life-sustaining treatment. That decision might not be what the patient would have wanted. It might not be what the physician thinks is in the patient's best interests. It might not be what most of the family thinks is right. But without some way to resolve the dispute short of recourse to the courts (always a bad idea), the treatment continues because the alternative is irreversible. Advance directives can provide a simple way of settling such disputes.

Preference for a Proxy

How do these instruments work in practice? There are two basic types of advance directives—the living will and the durable power of attorney for health care (or health care proxy). Briefly, a living will lists the patient's preferences for or against certain treatments at the end of life and goes into effect if one is terminally ill and lacking in decision-making capacity. The health care proxy names a person (and generally an alternate) to whom the physicians should turn for medical decisions in the event that the patient is unable to make them. Some documents combine elements of both. Forms can be obtained from physicians' offices, state government Web sites, hospitals and lawyers. Lawyers are not necessary, however. All one needs, typically, is for two persons to sign an attestation that the person making the directive was in a rational state of mind at the time the document was executed.

Advance directives are not a panacea for the complexity of end-of-life decisions. People often hesitate to fill them out, and most Americans die without them. Living wills can be too vague or too specific, and these documents, which are written texts, are as such subject to interpretation. Most patients would opt to give their loved ones substantial authority to interpret their documents and even to override their preferences, because they trust their families to act out of love. Thus the health care proxy form is the overwhelming preference of ethicists and clinicians. It is much easier for them to talk to a person who knows the patient and has been selected by the patient than it is to try to interpret a piece of paper. Catholics who are wary that their documents could be abused and their religious beliefs ignored would be best served by designating a health care proxy as they prepare their advance directives. But even this important role has its limits: Patients frequently fail to discuss their wishes with the person they appoint as proxy, and studies have shown that proxies are often inaccurate in predicting patient wishes.

Some faithful Catholics might worry that recent changes in church teaching regarding the use of feeding tubes for persons suffering from devastating neurological conditions, like the persistent vegetative state, will require them to alter their existing advance directives or to avoid using advance directives altogether. Recent church teaching, however, emphatically has not altered the centuries-old Catholic tradition of forgoing extraordinary means of care. Feeding tubes can still be considered extraordinary (i.e., optional) for patients who are dying of progressive underlying conditions like cancer or advanced dementia or if the use of the tube is associated with great burdens or costs. To try to specify in a living will all the nuances of Catholic teaching about feeding tubes would do more harm than good by creating a complicated and confusing text that others would later have to interpret. This is just another reason for preferring a health care proxy. Then one needs only to instruct one's proxy to decide on one's behalf in accord with church teaching.

Despite their limitations, advance directives provide an important means to accomplish the goals of the tradition of forgoing extraordinary means. Advance directives foster decision-making by those who know and love the incapacitated patient that is focused on the authentic values and real interests of the dying patient. Such decisions would constitute good care, recognizing both the dignity and the finitude of the human person, affirming the value of life but conscious that our ultimate destiny is eternal, not temporal.

Glossary

Advance directive: a document, like a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, that enables a person to provide guidance for others who may need to make medical decisions on that person's behalf in the event that the author of the directive loses the capacity to make decisions.

Living will: a listing of the patient's preferences for or against specific treatments at the end of life, which goes into effect if one is terminally ill and lacking in decision-making capacity.

Durable power of attorney (health care proxy): a document that names a person (and usually also an alternate) to whom physicians should turn for medical decisions in the event that the patient is unable to make decisions.

Extraordinary means: a technical term in ethics that means non-obligatory; the use of extraordinary means is optional.

Ordinary means: a technical term in ethics that means obligatory.

Daniel P Sulmasy, M.D., is the Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where he is associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. He is the author of Methods in Medical Ethics (Georgetown University Press).

Reprinted from America 29 November, 2010 with permission of America Press, Inc., © 2010. All rights reserved.

Why the elderly should fear euthanasia

David Richmond

The proposal that euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide (PAS) should be legalised targets older people. The reason is not hard to find: people at that end of the age spectrum are beginning to realise that their lives are not infinite. Generally speaking, people fear the process of dying more than death itself. Hence there is a ready audience for the line that older people have the most to gain from legalising these practices. It is ironic, however, that the very people who are the main supporters of legalised euthanasia or PAS have the most to fear from it. What should they fear?

1. They should fear being groomed for a death they really don't want

As a practicing geriatrician I heard time and again, older people telling me that they "didn't want be a burden." Most were not terminally ill: just sensitive to a society that tends to regard its older population as a burden, and therefore likely to accede to even subtle suggestions that they have 'had a good innings.' Dutch statistics show that more than 30% of people requesting euthanasia do so on grounds including not wishing to be 'a burden'. Is that really freedom of choice? The elderly are not the only ones susceptible to this. Doctor Richard Fenigsen reported that in Holland, when Parliament was first considering making euthanasia legal, a group of handicapped adults wrote as follows to the Parliamentary Committee for Health Care and Justice:

"We feel our lives threatened...We realise that we cost the community a lot...Many people think we are useless...Often we notice that we are being talked into desiring death...We will find it extremely dangerous and frightening if the new medical legislation includes euthanasia."

For many older people, the source of the pressure of being thought a 'burden' is their family; younger members feeling thwarted because they are unable to access their older relative's resources, burdensome care-giving or soured family relationships may all contribute. Those of us who work in the sector are regularly faced with such issues.

2. They should fear becoming the victims of death by euthanasia without their consent

Older people almost inevitably at some point cede control of their environment to others and are therefore at risk from those health professionals and others who assume that control and have the power to harm them - including killing them without their informed consent. In Holland the practice has moved rapidly from euthanasia on request (legal) to euthanasia of people who could not, or if they could have, did not, request it. Older people are the majority of victims. In Holland and Belgium many more people suffer the ultimate loss of dignity by being euthanased without their consent than are euthanased on request. If euthanasia were to be legalised, older people would assuredly discover that a minority's fear of dying is replaced by a majority fear of being killed without their consent - with the noblest intentions of course. Psychiatry Professor Herbert Hendin of New York, after personally investigating the practice of euthanasia in Holland, concluded that guidelines established by the Dutch for the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia were consistently violated and could not be enforced. The most important thing we can learn from the Dutch experience over 30 years is that the practice of euthanasia cannot be controlled by legislation.

3. They should be afraid of an unnecessary end by euthanasia because of incorrect diagnosis or prognosis

As we age, we are increasingly afflicted by disease. It is well recognised that all diagnoses, even in these days of advanced technology, are a matter of probability. That is, there is a chance that the diagnosis is not correct. According to Dr. Jerome Groopman , up to 15% of all diagnoses are incorrect. Clearly, the more diseases one has, the greater the likelihood that at least one diagnosis is incorrect. On average 33% of people aged 65 and over have three or more longstanding diseases requiring treatment. The older one gets, the greater the number of such disorders. The annals of medicine abound with incorrect diagnoses and erroneous predictions of immanent death. There are many records of people being euthanased where autopsies subsequently showed no evidence of fatal disease. In a recent Listener article, the first-hand account of a woman who recovered from a severe episode of blood poisoning included the following words highlighted by the editor: "I had always had an ambivalent attitude to voluntary euthanasia, but to my shock, I found myself vividly understanding the arguments in its favour". But consider: had her illness been in Holland, where euthanasia is legal, and had she expressed such sentiments to her doctors, she might well have been voluntarily euthanased; in which case she would not have been here to tell her story.

Older New Zealanders have to realise that if they allow legislation to pass so that euthanasia and/or PAS become legitimate components of therapy, in thinking that they have seized control over their life's end they will discover too late that they have actually lost it.

Emeritus Professor David Richmond was the Inaugural Masonic Professor of Geriatric Medicine and is the Founder and Chairman of the HOPE Foundation for Research on Ageing

Footnotes:

1 Fenigsen R. A case against Dutch euthanasia.  Ethics and Medicine 1990: 6: 11 – 18.

2 Hendin H.  Commentary. The case against physician- assisted suicide – For the right to end of life care. Psych. Times, Vol XXI #2, February 2004.

3 Groopman, J.E.  How Doctors Think. Mariner Press 2008

4 Melbourne Herald Sun 27 May 2002

5 The Listener, February 19 – 25 2011, pages 26 – 28.

“Every moment is an opportunity for greatness” (A Heschel)

Sinéad Donnelly

Sometimes at lunchtime, when I am tired and hungry, I can be irritable. So it is not the best time as a palliative medicine doctor to meet a new patient.

This day, however, I did not take my own advice and with my nurse colleague, Marion, I arrive on a busy ward to meet Mr Murphy as he slowly gets down off a hospital trolley following his procedure.

'Thank God I waited patiently for his hearing aid.

Thank God I waited for the student nurse to find his hearing aid in the orange box.

Thank God we noticed the glint in his eyes – "the twinkle" Marion called it.

Thank God we admired him being married five years at eighty eight;

to Sophie – he stressed "Sophia" as the correct pronunciation; "She is particular about that."

Thank God we stayed around waiting to meet him

as he slowly got off the trolley with plasma infusing after endoscopy.

Thank God I was kind to him.

Because suddenly two hours later he died.'

Dr Sinéad Donnelly M.D. is from Ireland working as a palliative medicine physician at Wellington Regional Hospital.

Danger Ahead

Ilora-FinlayBaroness Ilora Finlay is a doctor, professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University and an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords. She explains to Michael Fitzsimons how her opposition to euthanasia is not on religious grounds, but entirely a matter of public safety.

Read more...

Subcategories