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RCP adopts neutral stance on assisted dying after poll of members

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 21 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1340


We risk our careers if we discuss assisted dying, say UK palliative care consultants

  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The Royal College of Physicians is to remove its opposition to assisted dying and adopt a neutral stance on the issue after announcing the results of a poll of its members.

Of the 6885 doctors who responded to the poll (20% of the RCP’s members and fellows), 43% thought that the college should be opposed to changing the law on assisted dying. This was similar to the 44% when RCP members were last polled in 2014.

But the proportion of respondents wanting the RCP to support a change in the law increased to 32% in 2019, from 25% in 2014. A quarter of respondents (25%) in the latest poll thought that the RCP should be neutral, down from 31% in 2014.

The result means that the college will now adopt a neutral position, which it had pledged to …

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