Is Euthanasia Part of Our Future Care?

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Byline: Louise Roseingrave

MORE than half of a poll of final-year medical students at University College Cork are in favour of euthanasia.

An online survey revealed that 58 per cent are in favour of euthanasia and physicianassisted suicide.

The study of 66 of the 170 fourth-year students at UCC forms part of a research project by Canadian medical student, Matthew Carere, whose work is ongoing. He revealed some of his early findings at a Law Society Conference on Assisted Dying and Euthanasia in Ireland, in UCC yesterday.

Last night Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute - a group which campaigns against abortion, embryonic research and euthanasia - said her organisation is working on a report documenting attitudes towards euthanasia among medical professionals in palliative care and gerontology.

Preliminary findings show the majority of people working in these fields were against euthanasia and medically assisted suicide, she said. 'Medical students wouldn't be terribly well informed about palliative care, but when they go on to specialise they might find that their attitudes change,' she said.

European Coordinator of Exit International Tom Curran said he plans to assist in his partner's suicide should she choose that option.

His wife Marie has been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for 30 years. He has pledged to assist her end her own life should she choose to make that decision in the future.

The retired IT worker from Co. Wicklow has previously insisted that he is prepared to go to jail.

Mr Curran became involved with Exit International after attending a suicide workshop by controversial Australian Dr Philip Nitschke.

Dr Nitschke, dubbed Doctor Death, says he was the first doctor in the world to legally administer a 'voluntary lethal injection' to terminally ill patients in Australia's Northern Territory while it was briefly legal in the Nineties.

He is the founder of Exit International, and through the organisation he has advised hundreds of people around the world on how to end their lives. …