On 13 December parliament voted 76 to 44 in support of David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Private Member’s Bill progressing to a select committee for consideration.
The College Board acknowledges that this issue is likely to attract a lot of interest from members, the public and the media. However, given the wide ranging, passionate views people hold on this subject, the Board has agreed it would be impossible for the College to develop a position that fairly and accurately represented all members’ views. The Board agreed this issue is one for individual members’ consciences within the framework of the law and, as a result, the College would not produce a position statement on euthanasia.
The College will, however, prepare a submission to the appropriate select committee. This will outline points we think deserve due consideration such as: the right of patients to make an informed choice free from coercion, the rights of patients and GPs to have adequate support, and if the law were to change, the need for GPs who choose to be involved, to have appropriate training and guidance.