Top doctor says cancer is the best way to die

Original Story from Mamamia.com.au  January 2, 2015

A renowned doctor has been criticised for claiming that cancer is “the best way to die” – and that we should stop “wasting” billions of dollars trying to find a cure.

Richard Smith, 62, is a celebrated doctor and a former editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal.

He said death from cancer was preferable to longer, slower deaths from conditions such as dementia or more sudden deaths as it allowed patients to reflect on their lives and say goodbye to loved ones.

In a blog published in The BMJ, Dr Smith wrote:

“…Death from cancer is the best… You can say goodbye, reflect on your life, leave last messages, perhaps visit special places for a last time, listen to favourite pieces of music, read loved poems, and prepare, according to your beliefs, to meet your maker or enjoy eternal oblivion. This is, I recognise, a romantic view of dying, but it is achievable with love, morphine, and whisky.”

Dr Smith argued that losing a loved one to cancer was less traumatic than sudden deaths and urged cancer patients to “stay away from overambitious oncologists”.

However, his comments have been criticised by many, including the charity Cancer Research.

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