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Ethics briefing
  1. Ruth Campbell,
  2. Sophie Brannan,
  3. Veronica English,
  4. Olivia Lines,
  5. Rebecca Mussell,
  6. Julian C Sheather
  1. Medical Ethics, British Medical Association, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ms Ruth Campbell, Medical Ethics, British Medical Association, London, London, UK; rcampbell{at}bma.org.uk

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Assisted dying

British Medical association survey on physician-assisted dying closes

Previous Ethics briefings have highlighted the survey of members on physician-assisted dying being carried out by the British Medical Association.1 This survey closed at midnight on Thursday 27 February.

In total, 29 011 members responded – 20.1% of all members who received an invitation to participate – making this one of the largest surveys of medical opinion carried out on this issue, ever.

The results of the survey will not make BMA policy, but will inform a debate and discussion at the organisation’s main policy-making conference, the annual representative meeting (ARM) in June this year. You can find out more about the survey and how it was carried out at www.bma.org.uk/PAD This page will continue to be updated when more information about the survey results is available.

Royal College of General Practitioners remains opposed to a change in the law on assisted dying

In October 2019, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) began surveying its members on the College’s position on physician-assisted dying. The College published its results on 21 February. Of the 49 539 members invited to participated, 6674 responded – a response rate of 13.47%.2

In response to a question about what the College’s position on the law on assisted dying should be:

  • 47 per cent of respondents said that the RCGP should oppose a change in the law on assisted dying;

  • 40 per cent of respondents said that the RCGP should support a change in the law on assisted dying, providing there is a regulatory framework and appropriate safeguarding processes in place; and

  • 11 per cent of respondents said that the RCGP should have a neutral position on the topic of assisted dying.3

Following the results of the survey, the RCGP Council decided that the College should continue to oppose a change in the law on assisted dying.

Belgian doctors acquitted in country’s first criminal euthanasia case

As noted in previous Ethics briefings, three Belgian doctors faced criminal charges of “unlawfully poisoning” a …

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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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