Doctor admits aiding 7 people to kill themselves

A controversial psychiatrist has admitted to helping seven people go to the Dignitas clinic for an assisted suicide.

Dr Colin Brewer, who was struck off the medical register eight years ago, makes the claims in an upcoming book co-edited with another assisted suicide activist, Dr Michael Irwin.

Care Not Killing, which campaigns against assisted suicide, said the situation was “very troubling” and should be “urgently investigated”.

Psychiatric reports

Dr Brewer’s cases involved six people who were not terminally ill. They included:

  • Charlotte, who said she wanted to die before she was no longer able to live on her own.
  • Eddie, who was on the board of a charity and was losing his sight.
  • Jacques, who had arthritis and believed his memory was worsening.
  • The British doctor travelled the country providing psychiatric reports to affirm that the patients knew what they were consenting to.

    Vigorously oppose

    Dignitas, which operates an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, knows the doctor has been struck off but still accepts his reports.

    Care Not Killing spoke out against his claims, and pointed to the mainstream doctors’ organisations which are against assisted suicide.

    It said: “Every main doctors’ group, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists, British Medical Association and the Association of Palliative Medicine continues to vigorously oppose changing the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia.”


    In October this year the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) amended guidelines on the prosecution of assisted suicide.

    Alison Saunders’ changes mean that healthcare professionals who do not have a relationship of care with the victim are less likely to be charged.

    The Sunday Times, which reported Dr Brewer’s claims, said critics saw his upcoming book as a direct challenge to the DPP and an exploitation of the guidelines.

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