Over fifty doctors working in palliative medicine and care for dying patients have signed a letter to The Times in opposition to any proposed changes in the assisted suicide law.
In the face of continual attempts to legalise assisted suicide, fifty doctors have signalled their continued support for protections in the law for the most vulnerable. In particular, the doctors have called attention to a recent British Medical Association survey on assisted suicide which shows the unwillingness of doctors to participate in assisted suicide and euthanasia.
In the letter, the doctors point out that whatever marginal support there is for the idea of assisted suicide, it remains the case that a “majority of doctors licensed to practise would not agree to prescribe lethal drugs (assisted suicide) and a larger majority would not administer them (euthanasia).”
In other words, when the doctors who answered the survey were asked if they would personally “participate in any way in the process” of assisted suicide, 45% said ‘no’, as opposed to 36% who said ‘yes’. When asked if they would personally “participate in any way in the process” of euthanasia, 54% said ‘no’, and only 26% said ‘yes’.