Friday, July 01, 2005

Doctors changing euthanasia views

The decision of the British Medical Association on July 29 in future to remain neutral on issues of voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide has considerable significance.

So often in the past when law reform on these two issues was put forward, politicians tellingly pointed to the fact that the official bodies of the medical professions were opposed. It was a huge stumbling block.

The American Medical Association, and the same organizations in Canada and Australia, remain opposed to hastened death by choice. But now the British ones have broken the barrier, hopefully doctors' groups in other countries will follow suit.

The reason why the Dutch, Belgian and Swiss people have had lawful physician-assisted death is that, from the start, the medical groups in those countries co-operated rather than blindly opposed.

There is currently an assisted suicide Bill before the London Parliament which will have a far better chance of passing now that UK physicians have withdrawn their opposition.

---------------Derek Humphry, 1 July 05
President, ERGO.


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