Care Not Killing: The Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) oppose Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia

The following is from the Care Not Killing Alliance UK.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) announced that they will not change their position on assisted dying after receiving the results of a member survey indicating that 47% of the members opposed assisted suicide, 40% support assisted suicide, 11% support neutrality, and 2% did not take a position. 

“The current laws on assisted suicide and euthanasia exist to protect those who are sick, elderly, depressed or disabled from feeling obliged to end their lives,” said Dr. Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing commented. “It protects those who have no voice against exploitation and coercion. 

“We are pleased that the Royal College of General Practitioners recognises this and the dog whistle message that singling out the terminally ill and disabled people would send. As Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson has said, ‘Legalising assisted suicide will only serve to reinforce deep seated prejudices that the lives of sick and disabled people aren’t worth as much as other people’s.’”

Dr. Macdonald continued:

“Just look at what is happening in Canada, which introduced assisted suicide and euthanasia in 2016. Since then around 13,000 people have been killed. Then in September, the Quebec Superior Court struck down the requirement that a person be terminally ill before they qualify for euthanasia in Canada, allowing those with chronic conditions and mental health problems to have their lives ended. 

“But even before this court ruling there had been problems. In July a depressed, but otherwise healthy 61-year-old man, was euthanised in the province of British Columbia. Alan Nichols, a former school caretaker who lived alone was admitted to Chilliwack General Hospital, BC. Despite not being terminally ill, he received a lethal injection. Alan’s case is not isolated. 

“The problems in Canada are not unique. This summer, a major U.S. report from the National Council on Disability, found the laws in the handful of States that had gone down this route, were ineffective and oversight of abuse and mistakes was absent. 

“This is an important report as those championing assisted suicide in this country, put forward a model based on Oregon and Washington – Yet in both States a majority of those ending their lives cite fear of becoming a burden a reason. 

“The current laws that prevent assisted suicide and euthanasia do not need changing.”