RCP members drop 13-year opposition to assisted dying
Following a poll of its members, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has now adopted a neutral stance on the issue of assisted dying.
Some groups have spoken out against the change, saying a respected medical body’s reputation has been damaged. Others called the decision ‘absurd’.
Under UK law, it is currently illegal to encourage or assist a suicide.
Nearly 7000 doctors voted in the online poll:
- 43% thought the college should oppose a change in the law
- 32% wanted the college to support a change
- 25% were neutral
As a result, the college has shifted to a neutral stance because neither side achieved a necessary majority of 60%.
This shift by the Royal College of Physicians has no effect on the law and does not bring assisted dying any closer. However, it is symbolic that a respected medical institution should change its stance, which has been warmly welcomed by campaigners aiming to change the law.
The decision has infuriated those opposed to the change, who argue that it is unreasonable to demand a majority of 60% or above in order to maintain the status quo.
What are your views? Please do add your comments to this blog.
You can also read the editorial on the RCP’s survey by clicking here.