Scots GP admits assisting suicide of patients

Mon, 18 Mar 2013

A retired GP has admitted assisting the suicide of a number of patients – including a woman who was “actually not ill”.

Dr Iain Kerr, who told The Herald newspaper what he had done, is facing a police investigation.

On Friday a bioethics expert warned that the equality in value and in worth of every human life is rejected once “an individual or society as a whole begins to believe that some persons are unworthy of life”.

Kill

Dr Kerr has confessed to supplying an elderly couple with sleeping tablets so they could kill themselves.

He also admitted telling another patient how many drugs he needed to swallow to kill himself, and visiting the man while the overdose took effect.

Dr Kerr claimed his actions “were in the best interests of the patient”.

Compassion

In a letter to The Herald published last week, Dr Calum MacKellar of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics raised concerns.

Dr MacKellar said: “Dr Iain Kerr’s statement that he assisted in the suicides of persons in his care because he ‘was convinced they were in the best interests of the patient’ is extremely concerning.

“Healthcare professionals should never believe that a life is unworthy of life.

“Once an individual or society as a whole begins to believe that some persons are unworthy of life, then the equality in value and in worth of every human life is rejected – an equality that is the very basis of a civilised and compassionate society.”

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