Royal College to quiz members on views
TRANSGENDER FAMILY SUFFER DAD BORN A WOMAN
BY AMY-CLARE MARTIN re[email protected]lyrecord.co.uk BRITISH doctors will be asked if they would help a terminally ill patient to die and whether the law should be changed to allow assisted dying.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) are to poll their 35,000 members and fellows next month.
They will also ask whether members would be prepared to “participate actively” in assisted dying if the law was changed.
News of the poll comes as motor neurone disease sufferer Noel Conway said he may be forced to end his life at a Dignitas suicide clinic after the Supreme Court halted his legal bid for the right to die. And it follows a poll last year, which showed three in four Brits would support legislation on assisted dying to minimise suffering.
RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard said: “We are frequently asked for our stance on this high-profile issue, which may be cited in legal cases and parliamentary debate, so it is essential we base this on an up-to-date understanding of our members’ and fellows’ views.”
The RCP said they will adopt a neutral position until two-thirds of respondents say they should be in favour or opposed to a law change.
Assisted dying is illegal in England and Wales, with doctors facing a jail term of up to 14 years under the Suicide Act 1961.
There is no specific prohibition of assisting a suicide in Scottish law but anyone doing so could be charged with murder or culpable homicide, the RCP said.
A similar survey by the college five years ago found a majority of respondents did not support a law change.
HAPPY Greg, Jody and Jayden. Pic: Victoria Stewart
LEGAL BID Noel Conway