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Struck off doctor sending British dementia sufferers to Dignitas

26 January 2017

Colin Brewer was struck off the medical register after prescribing drugs to a patient who later died. Image: The Telegraph  

Six British dementia suffers ended their lives in Swiss suicide clinics between 2013 and 2016 after a struck-off doctor wrote reports saying that they were mentally capable of choosing to die.

Dr Colin Brewer was removed from the medical register in 2006 after prescribing drugs to a patient who later died. However, he is still technically allowed to provide patients with non-medical services as long as he tells them he is not on the medical register.

He told the Mail on Sunday: "You don't have to be a doctor to assess mental capacity. It's helpful but it's not essential."

The six patients, none of whom had a terminal illness, all died in Switzerland within six months of seeing Brewer, who is a director of the pro-euthanasia organisation My Death My Decision.

"Hugely dangerous"

Alistair Thompson, a spokesman for campaign group Care Not Killing, criticised Brewer's work.

He said: "It's a hugely dangerous trend to start allowing people with diminished mental capacity to end their lives."

Baroness Finlay, one of the UK's most eminent specialists in palliative care, said dementia patients risked cutting short their lives when the disease might not get any worse.

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