After a recent controversial article in the British Medical Journal where Dr Richard Smith claimed cancer was the best way to die, Cancer Research UK have published a extensive rebuttal that you might be interested in reading:
A nother response is this blog post by Laura Middleton-Green, lecturer and researcher in palliative and end of life care at the University of Bradford.
I must have missed the origin of this 'best way to die' debate. It seems I heard Karol Sikora being asked about something somebody else had written, without my picking up on that point.
I sent an e-mail to Professor Karol Sikhora, after I heard him on BBC Radio 4 on January 2nd. After he had commented that most deaths from cancer can now be relatively pain-free, the interviewer asked Prof Sikhora 'so would you prefer death from cancer ?'. He said the equivalent of 'no - I would prefer to go to bed, and die painlessly in my sleep, just before I would otherwise have started to suffer 'any of the nastier bits of dying''.
I pointed out to him, that I also would prefer to die that way - but that because this counts (according to current police behaviour) as 'an unexpected death', the relatives tend to be treated by the police 'as if they are suspects in a murder', so 'the best death for the patient, isn't the best death for the live-with relatives': he agreed with me.