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         July 2016


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“Thousands” of doctors are providing assisted suicides

Baroness Meacher, the new head of Dignity in Dying (formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society), has claimed “thousands” of doctors are helping their patients die each year, in her first interview since being appointed.@ She also thanked every one of those doctors [who] risk their own freedom to help their patients kill themselves.” Worryingly, it seems Baroness Meacher’s claims are backed by a study undertaken by Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, which estimates that roughly 1,000 doctors illegally helped their patients to commit suicide every year.@  According to Christian Concern, Baroness Meacher acknowledges that if she is to succeed with Dignity in Dying’s aims of providing legal assisted suicides in the UK, she would need to win over the British Medical Association.

BMA continue to oppose assisted dying

A BMA spokeswoman gave this statement to Christian Concern, “The issue of assisted dying has been regularly debated by the BMA at its annual policy-forming conference, with calls for a change in position persistently rejected.” It is therefore no surprise that Baroness Meacher gave this interview shortly before a vote concerning assisted suicide at the most recent BMA conference on 22nd June.

 However, Christian Concern reported that doctors voted overwhelmingly against assisted suicide. A motion was put forward to maintain a neutral stance but this was rejected by 198 to 115. Concerns were raised about providing slippery slopes, reminiscent of Belgium which now offers euthanasia for children. In a consultation by BMA before the conference, doctors raised concerns that vulnerable patients would not be protected and that better care should be provided for dying patients.@