Wednesday 29 July 2009

Protests against nursing college's "neutrality" on assisted suicide continue

Today's Scottish Herald features an important letter from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Palliative Nursing Forum, protesting against the RCN Council's adoption of a self-styled "neutral" position on assisted suicide. Elaine Stevens, the forum's chairman, writes:
"AS THE experts in the field of end of life care, The RCN Palliative Nursing Forum has always openly opposed the introduction of assisted suicide in the UK for a number of reasons, which we are happy to discuss in more detail.

"We are therefore absolutely astounded that the Royal College of Nursing, which "represents nurses and nursing" in the UK, has decided to take a neutral stance on this matter, based on the opinion of 588 nurses from a total membership of around 390,000."
The letter follows from similar protests by SPUC, by disability rights group No Less Human (NLH) and by the Christian Nurses and Midwives group. Also published today is an excellent op-ed in The Telegraph by two nurses also attacking the way the RCN has misled the public about opinion within the nursing profession:
"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 so nonsensical that one cannot help wondering what other motivation might lie behind the decision."

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