Doctors remain opposed to assisted suicideAssisted Suicide
A recent survey has shown that a majority of doctors remain opposed to assisted suicide being legalised in the UK.
It is currently illegal to assist in the ending of a person’s life in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In Scotland, you can be prosecuted under related crimes, such as murder, if found to have assisted in a suicide.
The survey, conducted by Doctors.net.uk, found 48% of doctors were against introducing any change in the law, with a significant majority saying it would hinder public attitude towards doctors.
The most popular reasons for opposing such legislation include “to protect vulnerable people from risk of coercion”, and because the “focus should be on improving palliative care”.
The same survey showed that only a minority of doctors would be willing to either prescribe or administer lethal drugs.
Three in ten were unwilling to provide information or have a discussion with a patient about it.
Many of the respondents raised concerns over the risk of undermining trust between doctor and patient, causing conflict with colleagues, increasing administration workload and even a change to the ethos of medicine.
One doctor simply said it would “end the NHS”.
The findings come as a new law is soon to be proposed in Scotland, and the Health and Social Care Committee in Westminster prepare to publish new findings from its inquiry.