Intended for healthcare professionals


Group opposed to RCP assisted dying poll lacks transparency, claims report

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 20 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1278
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

The row over a poll on assisted dying being conducted by the Royal College of Physicians has reached a new level of acrimony, with claims that opposition to the poll is been orchestrated by conservative Christian groups.

A report from the Dignity in Dying campaign group, which wants a change in the law to legalise assisted dying, says that attempts are being made to deny doctors a say by networks linked to pro-life, faith based organisations.1

The RCP is polling its 35 000 members and fellows on the issue and has ruled that it will adopt a “neutral” position unless at least 60% vote either in favour of or against a change in the law, effectively ending its opposition to legalisation.2 The college is due to announce the results of the poll on Thursday 21 March.

But the RCP is facing a legal challenge to the decision to seek a supra-majority.3 A crowdfunding campaign has been set up by a group of doctors …

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