Doctor confesses: I gave lethal drugs to dying patient

Dr Syme’s revelation was a “calculated risk” designed to provoke reform of the laws around physician assisted suicide, he told MO

“The law is inhibiting good medical practice,” he said. “The issues of pain are only a small component of what people confront with a terminal illness. Ultimately, we suffer in the mind. People suffer enormously from a sense of a loss of control over their life.”

The Melbourne urologist and vice president of Dying with Dignity Victoria said supplying lethal drugs to dying patients was a “palliative act” which relieved much of their psychological anxiety about death, and restored their sense of control. 

But, AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said there was a big difference between palliative care and actively or passively ending someone’s life. 

"Good palliative care is all about relieving distress, and providing someone with