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Thursday, 9 December, 1999, 14:07 GMT
Anti-euthanasia bill set out

Ann Winterton: Hoping to change the law


A Conservative MP Ann Winterton has said she has cross-party support for a backbench bill to prevent doctors intentionally killing patients.

Health: Background Briefing: Euthanasia
The MP who drew the first place in the ballot for private members bills published her Medical Treatment (Prevention of Euthanasia) Bill on Thursday.

She told a Westminster news conference: "My bill will make it abundantly clear to doctors that they cannot intentionally bring about the death of their patients either by action or by omission.

"Many people particularly the disabled and elderly are increasingly fearful of entering hospitals because the BMA without legal authority has issued guidelines to doctors allowing withdrawal of medical treatment and of tube feeding from patients who are not dying."

The first reading of Ms Winterton's bill will take place on 15 December.

Its publication comes in the same week that it has been alleged that elderly and disabled patients are dying in NHS hospitals as a result of inadequate care.

She added that patients must be reassured that "their lives will not be forfeit as a result of bed shortages".

The MP for Congleton said she is also concerned to protect the elderly from those who may benefit financially from their death.

The bill is being co-sponsored by the Tory frontbencher Ann Widdecombe.

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See also:
06 Dec 99 |  Health
NHS euthanasia claims ludicrous'

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