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Doctors Reaffirm Opposition To Assisted Suicide

by VR Sreeraman on July 3, 2009 at 5:53 PM
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 Doctors Reaffirm Opposition To Assisted Suicide

Doctors have reaffirmed their opposition to assisted suicide following a debate at the BMA's Annual Conference in Liverpool.

Doctors rejected calls from Thameside doctor, Kailash Chand to change legislation to allow the choice of an assisted death by patients who are terminally ill and who have mental capacity.

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Doctors also rejected calls to ensure that those accompanying the patient at an assisted death, but not actively participating, will not be subject to criminal prosecution.

Dr Brian Keighley, Deputy Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said:

"It is clear that doctors do not wish to play a role in assisting a patient's death. Assisting patients to die prematurely is not part of the moral ethos or the primary goal of medicine. If the legislation were to be changed, it would have serious negative consequences on the relationship between doctors and their patients.
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"It remains vital that access to the best quality palliative care is available in order to ensure that terminal suffering is properly managed."

Independent MSP Margo Macdonald has secured sufficient support to introduce the End of Life Choices Bill in the Scottish Parliament. The BMA remains opposed to the principles of this proposed legislation.

Source: BMA
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