One of the doctors challenging the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) over its move to end its opposition to assisted suicide has spoken exclusively to The Christian Institute.
The doctors took action because they want the public to know the truth that the majority of doctors oppose legalisation.
Dr David Randall said that some within the RCP are using underhand methods to try to change the College’s stance, because most do not share their views.
Dr Randall explained that by asking doctors if the College should support, oppose or become neutral on assisted suicide, “it makes it very difficult to get a strong majority for any option”.
“Now the College has also announced that it’s going to go neutral – it’s going to drop its historic opposition to assisted suicide – unless there’s 60 per cent in favour of keeping it that way.”
He said it was “very unusual” to require a 60 per cent supra-majority to maintain the status quo, and said he was concerned this represented “a desire on behalf of some within the College to see the college drop opposition”.
He continued: “The majority, perhaps two-thirds or three-quarters, oppose a change in the law.”
“If you move from a position of opposition to becoming neutral, you’re actually suggesting that doctors have changed their mind on this.”
He added: “This is a really important patient safety concern, and actually as doctors, our first responsibility is to safeguard the people we’re looking after.”
He said many doctors are concerned that vulnerable individuals might come under pressure to ask for assisted suicide if the law changes, and said “if the law changes, their lives could be in danger”.
Dr Randall said he was encouraged by the response from the public over the legal challenge, with many choosing to support the campaign financially via a GoFundMe page.
“We do need money to be able to bring this confidently, and if necessary to take it all the way to the High Court.
“We believe that this is an unfair poll that’s being conducted by the College, and it plays into the hands of those seeking to change the law”.