Thursday 30 July 2009

Nurses oppose college's neutrality on assisted suicide

Two nurses wrote in yesterday's Daily Telegraph about the lack of rationale behind the Royal College of Nursing's adoption of a neutral stance on assisted suicide. Vicky Robinson and Ray Greenwood are calling on nurses to speak up before it is too late. I urge you to spread the article far and wide.

The authors ask: "How on earth can [the college] possibly have come to this conclusion? The sample on which it is based is not only tiny but also unfair. It is not as though the College has asked a random cross section of nurses what they think about legalising assisted suicide. Instead it has received responses from a sample of nurses who have clearly defined views on the subject and who almost certainly include committed supporters of campaigning organisations on both sides of the debate. To suggest that the College’s existing stance should be changed on the evidence of views expressed by less than three out of every thousand nurses is nonsensical."

They add: "So, what exactly is going on in the Royal College of Nursing? To attempt to represent the views of a tiny fraction of nurses as those of the whole profession is egregiously unjust and unfair. To suggest that the views expressed by 0.3% of nurses represent a fair picture of what the other 99.7% think is stretching the limits of credibility too far. If the College is to shift is position on such an important issue affecting nurses, it needs far more robust evidence than this."

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