A survey of 600 physicians in Britain found that 60% opposed a change in the law to legalize physician-assisted suicide while 19% indicated that they would be willing euthanize or assist the suicide of a patient.
According to the article published in the Daily Mail:
This is a rise of 17 points from the last time the same question was asked – just 43% were against a change in 2004.
In the latest poll almost half of doctors said that in the last six months they have had at least one patient state they would rather die than stay alive.
Only 19% would be willing to help people die through legalised physician- assisted suicide or euthanasia, although 37% believe it is already happening anyway.
The article also quoted Dr Tony Calland, chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) ethics committee, who said:
“There have always been strongly held views on assisted dying as this is a complex, emotive issue centred upon vulnerable patients nearing the end of their lives.”
“Doctors have repeatedly expressed their opposition to assisted dying when it has been debated regularly at the BMA’s annual conference that sets our policy, which since 2006 has been to oppose assisted dying in all its forms.”
“Many doctors have first-hand experience of caring for dying patients and believe that, rather than deliberately ending a patient’s life, we should instead be focusing on building the very best of palliative care for those in distress.”
A recent survey of 4800 members of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) found that 36.3% supported the legalization of euthanasia and 44.8% physician-assisted suicide.
Even after the Canadian media has pushed for the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, the majority of physicians remain opposed to intentionally causing the death of their patients.