Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Death becomes her

As a locum GP I think I am getting better at spotting money making opportunities when they turn up. I note that the public seems to be changing its opinion on assisted suicide, or active euthanasia to give it its proper term. No doubt this will eventually be made law as politicians have an annoying habit of passing populist laws based on opinion rather than fact or worst still hiring experts and then firing when they don’t agree with them. It does seem a curious vote winner but we live in curious times I guess.

Anyway, back to my first point, how can you (or the NHS) make money out of assisted suicide? It seems clear that this will eventually become law so I suggest brushing up on ways to kill your patients. No doubt the Shipman Guidelines will need to be drawn up to decide what drugs are best at bumping patients off. I’ll hazard a guess and say that not every doctor is entirely keen on the idea of euthanasia or variants of it. Well, its no time to be displaying a backbone or relying on your moral guidance.

As a large number of doctors will not want to take part in the selective reduction of vulnerable patients it could mean a big cash bonus for those of willing to wield the scythe. I’m sure you can think of a number of your elderly patients who don’t want to be seen as a burden or make a fuss, well now you could finally have the opportunity to help them shuffle off this mortal coil. You no longer have to worry about such trivialities as palliative care and all those fiddly drugs. A quick consent form, needle in the arm or pills in a cup and hey presto, one assisted suicide cash bonus and perhaps even a cremation form fee if you are lucky.

Its only a matter of time before it becomes part of the QOF targets. Just think of all the money it could save the NHS! ICU bed numbers could be slashed, hospices could close and we’d have another treatment option for our severely depressed or heartsink patients. Hopefully the money saved will be reinvested in other areas of the NHS but don’t hold your breath. The Government is pretty short of cash at the moment and needs every penny.

If you became a Specialist in Regulated Euthanasia Assisting the Passage to Everlasting Rest (R.E.A.P.E.R) you can forget about the need for basic life support skills (unless you ‘assist’ the wrong patient!). I would expect that it would be unlikely the patient complains but its possible that the family might if their dear relative didn’t die peacefully or if you declined to ‘assist’ their granny who lives in mansion that’s far too big for her.

Seems like a win-win situation to me, what could possibly go wrong?


  1. R.E.A.P.E.R very clever.

    Perhaps assisted suicide should happen outside the NHS. I imagine you would end up dying before the NHS would get you an appointment to a suicide doctor -- then again, maybe that's their master plan.

  2. Got nothing to say other than loved your post-it made me laugh :0

  3. well written. i'm surprised that i have not stumbled across this blog before. i will be stumbling across it again.

  4. Hope this gets picked up by the national press. Would give food for thought.