BMA opposes move to legalise assisted suicide

By November 25, 2013 Recent News

Pulse Today 14 November 2013
The BMA has said it will oppose a parliamentary bill, introduced today, to legalise assisted dying for terminally ill patients in Scotland.
Under the new bill, patients would register a potential wish to die with their GP, and would have to submit two further requests before the GP would prescribe drugs to be used in the suicide attempt – the GP would then withdraw from the process.
Trained and licensed facilitators would be instead be used to provide ‘practical assistance’ in arranging the suicide and be present when the patient administered the lethal dose.
But the BMA said that doctors would be taking on a role that was ‘alien’ to their role as a care giver and that it could not support it.
The bill was brought by MSP Margo MacDonald – an independent member for the Lothian region – in Edinburgh today and would extend to patients who had been diagnosed with chronic, degenerative diseases.
The bill is a revision of one defeated in 2010, it drops the contentious element of physician-assisted dying and stipulates the ‘cause of death must be the person’s own deliberate act’.