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pre­vi­ously, when doc­tors dis­cuss the im­por­tant is­sue of how they care for dis­abled peo­ple and the ter­mi­nally ill, they will again re­ject any at­tempt to soften their stance on as­sisted sui­cide and eu­thana­sia.”

The RCP poll will also ask mem­bers what they think the col­lege’s po­si­tion on as­sisted dy­ing should be.

In its sur­vey in 2014, 44% said it should be op­posed to as­sisted dy­ing, 25% be­lieved it should be in favour, and 31% thought it should be neu­tral. This poll also found that

58% would not be pre­pared to “par­tic­i­pate ac­tively” in as­sisted dy­ing were it to be le­galised.

As­sisted dy­ing is il­le­gal in the UK – un­der English law doc­tors could be jailed for up to 14 years be­cause of the Sui­cide Act 1961.

There is no spe­cific pro­hi­bi­tion of as­sist­ing a sui­cide in Scot­tish law, but the RCP said any­one do­ing so could be charged with mur­der or cul­pa­ble homi­cide.

The RCP de­fines as­sisted dy­ing as: “The sup­ply by a doc­tor of a lethal dose of drugs to a pa­tient who is ter­mi­nally ill, meets cer­tain cri­te­ria that will be de­fined by law, and re­quests those drugs in order that they might be used by the per­son con­cerned to end their life.”

LE­GAL Dig­ni­tas in Zurich

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