British Doctors Overwhelmingly Vote Against Dropping Opposition to Assisted Suicide

International   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Jun 21, 2016   |   2:44PM   |   London, England

Question: how could you know, just by the length of the first stories in the British press, that the British Medical Association (BMA) had voted against going “neutral” on assisted suicide?


After a spate of stories going back weeks, all of which were intended to convey the message the BMA should give up its staunch resistance, we read a few paragraph dispatch under tense headlines such as “Doctors reject assisted suicides.”

Moreover the overwhelming opposition–the vote against was 198 to 115 (63%)to maintain its current position–was nowhere to be found. Instead you typically read more comments by proponents than opponents.

In 2005, the BMA did go neutral on assisted suicide, only to quickly revert back to opposition the following year. According to the BMA, since then the issue has been voted on four times.

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A spokesperson told the Independent (according to reporter Peter Yeung)

“We appreciate that there are strongly held views across society on this complex and emotive issue, and recognise the ongoing public debate around this subject.

“By engaging with doctors and members of the public in an eighteen-month long project, we have compiled a comprehensive body of qualitative research to look at the wider context of the issue and enable members to have informed discussions at this year’s conference, where they will be able to vote on whether to change the BMAs current position.”

The wider context is important. As NRL News Today reported last year, Parliament overwhelmingly defeated MP Rob Marris’s “Assisted Dying” bill, 330 to 118.

NRL News Today regularly reposts stories by Peter Saunders , CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship. Here’s some of what he wrote just prior to the BMA’s vote, explaining why the BMA should remain opposed to assisted suicide. Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.