The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) will continue to oppose a change in the law on assisted dying, having conducted a survey of its members.
The decision was ratified by the college’s governing council on 21 February. The RCGP said that 6674 members responded to its survey on assisted dying, a 13.47% response rate.
Of those who responded, 47% (3144) said that the RCGP should oppose a change in the law on assisted dying. A further 40% of respondents (2684) said that the RCGP should support a change in the law on assisted dying provided a regulatory framework and appropriate safeguarding processes are in place, 11% (701) said that the college should have a neutral position, and 2% (145) abstained.
For the first time, the BMA is asking its members what position it should take on assisted dying. The results of the survey will be made available to BMA members ahead of this year’s annual representative meeting (ARM) in June. They will inform a debate and a vote at the meeting regarding the BMA’s policy position.
Since 2006 the BMA has opposed assisted dying in all forms. Its policy says that neither physician assisted suicide nor voluntary euthanasia should be made legal in the UK. In 2016, representatives at the association’s ARM rejected a motion calling on the BMA to adopt a neutral position.