Friday, June 30, 2006

Good news! The British Medical Association votes against supporting euthanasia, reversing it's undemocratic policy last year

I was delighted to see that the British Medical Association (BMA) has voted to reverse its support for euthanasia - voting by 65% to 35% against helping those who are terminally ill to end their life (Guardian report).

The BMA's 2004 edition of Medical Ethics today puts forward an absolute case against legalising euthanasia from the point of view of medicine, palliative care, slippery slopes and the inevitability of involuntary euthanasia and older people being made to feel that they are a burden. It was therefore bizarre that they overruled all these arguments in 2005.

The massive vote against euthanasia, akin to the recent huge poll of doctors by the Royal College of Physicians which showed that the very vast majority of doctors are against euthanasia, suggests that the BMA vote last year was totally unrepresentative of the BMA membership (apparently rushed through at the last minute).

Could we have another vote on abortion please and overturn the BMA's disgraceful support last year for the current abortion law when so many doctors have expressed concern at late abortions? I recently heard Wendy Savage speak at a debate in London and couldn't believe that she was responsible for the BMA voting in support of the current law on abortion. Her views are so 1960s.

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