LONDON, October 27, 2004 ( – Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has allegedly sent a letter to euthanasia campaigner, Baroness Flather, supporting her bid to legalize euthanasia for the UK. A private members bill tabled by Lord Joffe, currently under review by a House of Lords committee, seeks to make doctor-assisted suicide legal.  Flather, claiming to know of the 83 year-old Duke’s support for euthanasia, sent him a Hansard record of the Lords debate. He replied to the debate with a letter to her. She acknowledged receipt of the letter, but would not reveal its contents.

A source familiar with the contents of the letter revealed to the Times On-line: “Prince Philip thinks one of the reasons we have a problem with the issue is that doctors are prolonging life and keeping people alive for longer than they should be.”  Also, the UK’s Voluntary Euthanasia Society revealed the results of a survey they commissioned last week, claiming that, when a physician was asked “When a patient is terminally ill with unbearable suffering,” 45 percent would favour a change in the law, allowing physician-assisted suicide.

The same poll revealed that 53 percent of physicians opposed voluntary euthanasia, the direct killing of a patient by the physician, saying that it should not be allowed under any circumstances. Forty two percent said they were opposed to physician-assisted suicide, where a physician would be indirectly involved in the killing of the patient, through the writing of a prescription for lethal drugs.  When the physicians were asked if they would assist a person to die, “When a patient is terminally ill with unbearable suffering and is physically unable to commit suicide, for example, with motor-neuron disease” (like MS or ALS), 37 percent indicated they would be willing to help this person commit suicide.  The VES is known for artificially exaggerating its euthanasia claims. In comparison, a survey commissioned by the UK’s Right to Life Association in May, 2003, revealed that “a clear majority of doctors are opposed to the Lord Joffe Bill.”  Read the related report:  UK Mulls Legalized Euthanasia – Committee Investigates Possibilities Poll Claiming 50% of Brits Would Assist Suicide Skewed and Misrepresentative UK Euthanasia Claims Exaggerated, Irresponsible   Tv


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