‘Don’t kill patients’ cut from Irish medical ethics guide

The Republic of Ireland’s Medical Council has come under fire for removing protections from patients in its new guidance for medics.

Under a section on end-of-life care, the 9th edition of the Guide to Professional Conduct & Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners excludes the previous edition’s statement: “You must not take part in the deliberate killing of a patient.”

The guidance, which came into effect at the start of the year, also removes the warning that doctors must not take part in “human reproductive cloning” or engage “in the creation of new forms of human life solely for experimental purposes”.

‘Seismic shift’

Pro-life group the Iona Institute said: “The prohibition on doctors deliberately killing patients is old-age. What has taken place represents a seismic shift in true medical ethics that date back to Hippocrates in Ancient Greece.”

“It seems perfectly clear what is happening. If the Government legalises euthanasia, the ethics code for doctors will no longer get in the way.”

“It is shameful that the Medical Council has gone down this path, clearly with the blessing of the Minister for Health. Hopefully the doctors of Ireland will push back against this incredibly retrograde step.”


The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) and the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland have both made clear their complete opposition to legalising assisted suicide.

They are urging parliamentarians to pursue excellence in end-of-life care rather than legalise assisted suicide.

The RCPI is Ireland’s largest postgraduate medical training body and a professional body for medical doctors with over 11,000 members.

Also see:


SNP Minister opposes Scots assisted suicide Bill as ‘unsafe for the disabled’

Church leaders: ‘RoI must not undermine sanctity of life by legalising assisted suicide’

Majority of UK doctors would not facilitate assisted suicide

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