91.Memorandum from Dr Dermot Lynch (MIB
I am very concerned about some of the clauses
in this draft.
1. They appear to allow the withdrawal of
tube supplied food and fluid for the purpose of ending life when
someone judges that death best serves the interest of the person.
2. This may be decided by someone who could
have an interest in the death of the individual but who claims
to have knowledge of an advance decision verbally expressed. Even
a written directive will have been made in different circumstances
and may be is a poor reflection of present opinion which cannot
3. Doctors will be expected to take the
action of tube removal or withholding thus abrogating their responsibility
to respect life, to heal where possible, to ease suffering and
to do no harm. The fact that the profession has already abandoned
this principal in regard to abortion is no reason to extend the
4. The Court of Protection will be altered
in a manner, which will reduce the protection provided to the
The State can of course alter the Law of the
land but cannot alter the morality! Should the State decide to
alter the laws in the manner of the objectional clauses it should
be honest and accept that:
1. They are legalising killing by starvation
2. Doctors are being required to do this
because of humane reasons but death by starvation is slow and
distressing and a subject who cannot communicate is not necessarily
unfeeling. Those most skilled in humane killing are abattoir staff!!
3. The State is abrogating its duty to protect
the most vulnerable members of society.