The British Medical Association (BMA) has launched a survey of doctors to decide whether the organisation will take a ‘neutral’ position on assisted suicide and euthanasia.

This is the latest in a stream of medical organisations in the past year to question doctors on their stance on assisted suicide, after the Royal College of Physicians announced in January 2019 that it would adopt a ‘neutral’ position on assisted dying.

History of opposition to assisted suicide

Currently, the BMA believes that “the ongoing improvement in palliative care allows patients to die with dignity … [and] insists that physician-assisted suicide … voluntary euthanasia … [and] non-voluntary euthanasia should not be made legal in the UK.” 

This policy was reaffirmed in 2016 at the organisation’s annual representative meeting.

New survey

Now, 160,000 members of the BMA are being asked:

“whether they believe the BMA should support, oppose, or take a neutral stance on a change in the law to permit doctors to prescribe drugs for eligible patients to end their own life … [and] about a stance to a change in the law to permit doctors to administer drugs with the intention of ending an eligible patient’s life.”

Doctors should oppose assisted suicide

The Care Not Killing Alliance, a group of organisations opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia, goes into more detail on the issue and why doctors should actively oppose assisted suicide:

“In matters of life and death, where a wealth of evidence casts grave doubts on the safety and ethics of assisted suicide, doctors must maintain clarity – by maintaining opposition.”

Republished by permission of Christian Concern.


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