GPs want BMA and RCGP to adopt neutral stance over assisting dying

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 14 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4169
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Most GPs want their representative bodies to adopt a neutral stance on whether or not assisted dying for terminally ill mentally competent adults should be legalised, an online poll has shown.

The poll of more than 1000 GPs, commissioned jointly by Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD) and Dignity in Dying, found that 62% of GPs believe that medical bodies, such as the BMA and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), should take a position of “studied neutrality” because doctors themselves are so divided over the issue.

Only one third of GPs who participated in the poll through Doctors.Net.UK between 16 and 22 May, wanted to see medical bodies take a particular stance—either one of support or one of opposition. The …

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