Dr Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal has written in a blog that dying of cancer is the “best death” as it leaves sufferers with time to say goodbye to loved ones and visit sentimental places one last time.
He added that charities should stop spending billions trying to find a cure for the disease because it is the best way to die.
The Independent reports that Dr Smith says cancer allowed people to say goodbye and prepare for death and was therefore preferable to sudden death, death from organ failure or “the long, slow death from dementia”.
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Referring to the writings of surrealist Luis Buñuel, Dr Smith said that cancer was the closest thing to the filmmaker’s professed wish for “a slower death”
“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,” Dr Smith wrote in a blog published for the BMJ, a journal he edited until 2004.
“This is, I recognise, a romantic view of dying, but it is achievable with love, morphine, and whisky. But stay away from overambitious oncologists, and let’s stop wasting billions trying to cure cancer, potentially leaving us to die a much more horrible death,” he wrote.
Dr Smith, who also worked as a TV doctor for the BBC and TV-AM for six years, is now chair of both the medical records company Patients Know Best and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research.
While some have condemned his views as insensitive to the families of people who have died of the disease, others shared Dr Smith’s post, uploaded to the BMJ’s blog on December 31, according to the Mail Online
‘A positive look at cancer and I understand where he’s coming from,’ said one Twitter user, while another encouraged their own followers to read the article, accompanying: ‘We spent a fortune on trying to save loved family members suffering from this dreaded disease.’