NRL News

Leading doctor in the UK opposes assisted suicide

by | Jun 4, 2012

By Alex Schadenberg, executive director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alexander Schadenberg, executive director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Michael Cook reported in (June 1) on the article by Iona Heath, the President of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK, that was published in the British Medical Journal opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide. The article by Iona Heath is particularly important considering the push by the suicide lobby in the UK to legalize assisted suicide. Cook’s report was titled: Head of GPs in UK takes stand against assisted dying.

This is a reprint of the article:

The president of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the UK, Iona Heath, has taken a strong stand against the legalisation of assisted suicide. In an eloquent article in the BMJ she argues that campaigns in support of assisted dying rely on an excessively rosy view of society.

First of all, she feels that it will be impossible to draft a law which protects the vulnerable. “Most of the discussion of and support for assisted dying revolves around exceptional individuals who are intelligent, articulate, and facing the prospect of intolerable suffering and who clearly understand their situation and predicament. Yet legislation has to protect everyone, including those who struggle to express or even fully understand what is happening to them. It seems to me to be impossible to ensure that an apparently voluntary request for assisted dying is not in some small way coerced.”

Second, supporters assume that governments will be generally benign. This is naïve, she says. “A malign government coming into power with legislation supporting assisted dying already in place is a deeply disturbing prospect.” …

Categories: Assisted Suicide