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Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2014-101949
  • Editorial

Legalising assisted suicide: what does the evidence say?

  1. Alison Twycross
  1. School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Alison Twycross, School of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA, UK; a.twycross{at}lsbu.ac.uk

Whether or not assisted suicide (AS) for the terminally ill (assisted dying) should be legalised in England and Wales was debated in the House of Lords in July. As ever this generated much media interest and a flurry of activity on social media. The Economist claims most people in the Western world believe AS should be legalised (http://econ.st/1ml9xtc) and that the law should change because of this, whereas the Spectator argues support for AS can be attributed to the publicity given in recent years to several heart-rending individual cases (http://bit.ly/1qgZX2Q). Further, a systematic literature review concluded that more than 75% of UK doctors oppose the introduction of AS.1 Do doctors have a greater understanding of the issues involved than the general public? As someone who has spent more …

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