HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 cc48-9W
Mrs. Ann Winterton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make a statement on the recent claims by Dr. Nicholson that he had killed newborn handicapped babies;

(2) on how many occasions in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available newborn handicapped babies have been killed by doctors or other medical personnel;

(3) if she will make it her policy to write to all medical practitioners reminding them that the killing of newborn handicapped babies is illegal; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Sackville

The deliberate killing of any human being is an illegal act. It is for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether any action should be taken over Dr. Nicholson's claims. Current Home Office criminal statistics do not identify any cases involving the killing of newborn handicapped babies by doctors or others. The Department does not keep separate information.

All doctors are well aware that the deliberate killing of patients is illegal. It is also contrary to their ethical obligations.