Doctors voting on whether they would support a change in the law so they could help a terminally ill patient die reflects a growing public mood.
More and more people support giving the terminally ill the legal right to have a dignified death when the time comes.
Life support machines are switched off in hospitals every week all over the country with the consent of families.
They do not face prosecution like those who help loved ones travel to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to die.
It would be foolish to dismiss the concerns of those who, for religious or practical reasons, oppose assisted dying.
And there is a clear need for strong safeguards to prevent criminals killing relatives to gain their possessions.
But many doctors recognise that treating someone so that they live against their will, often in pain and without dignity, is hurting, not helping, patients.
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