British Medical Association Keeps Opposing Assisted Suicide

International   |   John Smeaton   |   Jul 3, 2012   |   3:24PM   |   London, England

The Independent reports that the British Medical Association (BMA) annual representative meeting has rejected a motion to move the BMA’s policy from one of opposition to assisted suicide to one of neutrality. The Independent reports some positive contributions to the debate:

Dr Dai Samuel said: “We must question what as doctors we stand for. I simply stand for looking after my patients and providing high quality care.
“I do not consider the killing of patients – whatever the reason is – justified. That is murder and I cannot commit that offence.”

BMA’s outgoing chairman of council Dr Hamish Meldrum urged doctors not to take a neutral stance.

He said: “The first part of this motion says that this is a matter for society and not for the medical profession.

“The medical profession is not only part of society, but it would be members of the medical profession that would have to carry out the wishes of society were there to be a change in the law.

“On (the second part of the motion) it says the BMA should adopt a neutral position on a change in the law.

“I think adopting a neutral position is probably the worst of all options. Neutrality does tend to exclude us from the argument, an argument which would have a huge bearing on the working lives of doctors.

“I don’t come to this from any strong religious view but I do come to these views from having worked as a doctors for 40 years – mostly in general practice – where I have always felt I have been able, in almost every occasion, to support my patients when they were dying without having to actively end their lives.”

Today’s outcome shows that the euthanasia lobby cannot win where doctors stand up for the ethos of the medical profession and resist the pressures to conform to the culture of death. Note: John Smeaton is the director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), a leading pro-life group in the UK.