GPs to be consulted on ending assisted suicide opposition

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is to consult its membership on whether it should end its opposition to assisted suicide.

The RCGP last consulted with its 53,000 members in 2013, when the majority said the college should remain opposed.

The governing body has now decided to hold another consultation.


Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “It has been nearly six years since we asked our members whether we should support a change in the law on assisted dying – since then, it is possible that views within our membership have shifted.”

In March, the Royal College of Physicians dropped its opposition to assisted suicide after a poll of its members.

Despite just 25 per cent of RCP members supporting the ‘neutral’ position, and 43.4 per cent opposing, the college changed its stance.

RCP claimed the move to ‘neutrality’ reflects the “range of views” among doctors.

Vote rigged

Before the poll, the RCP said it would adopt a ‘neutral’ position unless 60 per cent voted for it to remain opposed.

However, lack of consultation about the threshold for change prompted furious accusations that the poll was rigged.

Following a debate at its Annual Representative Meeting yesterday, the British Medical Association (BMA) also agreed for the first time to poll its 160,000 members on assisted suicide.

In 2005 BMA adopted a ‘neutral’ stance, but this was changed to oppostion in 2006.

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