Thursday 25 June 2009

Powerful resistance by doctors' leader to assisted suicide push

Professor Steve Field (pictured), chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), has offered powerful resistance to the push for assisted suicide. In an article in The Guardian, he writes:
"I do not believe that assisted suicide has a place in the UK. My argument is not based on a religious belief in the sanctity of life but on a strong belief in the ethical basis of medicine, which is my vocation ...

"If we doctors take on the additional role of taking life, while at the same time treating the patient and protecting their life, it would undermine our credibility, undermine the trust between the patient and doctor and adversely affect the doctor-patient relationship ...

"[A]ssisted suicide is not the answer to the ills of our health system.

"My concern is that the NHS could have an incentive to deny treatment to people who may be deemed too costly."
It is refreshing to read Prof. Field's article, as so often the leaders of the medical profession go along with the anti-life tenor in parliament and the media. It's also refreshing to hear that the Swiss government is considering banning or restricting organised suicide assistance, such as Dignitas. Please forward these two stories to members of the House of Lords, who are due (though delayed) to consider amendments on assisted suicide to the government's Coroners and Justice bill - see SPUC's action alert of 6 June.

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