Stop the Royal College of Physicians being hijacked by assisted suicide campaigners
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) currently holds a position opposing a change in the law to allow assisted suicide in the UK. This same position is held by the Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of General Practitioners, British Medical Association and Association of Palliative Medicine.
Assisted suicide pressure groups have made it clear that the medical establishment’s continued opposition to assisted suicide is ‘continuing to block a change in the law’. They have been campaigning to have these Colleges drop their positions opposing assisted suicide.
On 14 January, the RCP announced that it will be surveying its members and fellows on whether to change its official position on the issue. The RCP Council, which includes high profile assisted suicide campaigners, have come up with what has been described by the College’s former chair of ethics as a ‘sham poll with a rigged outcome’.
The survey will ask members and fellows what position they want the College to take on assisted suicide. It will give them three options: in favour, opposed and neutral. The College has said that it will then automatically adopt a ‘neutral’ position, dropping opposition to assisted dying, unless a 60% supra-majority vote for the College to remain opposed or switch to being in favour.
This approach to arriving at a new position follows a council meeting, during which it was decided to adopt this new default position of neutrality. This is despite the fact that the wider fellowship and membership were not involved in this decision.
This approach will virtually guarantee that the College will move to a ‘neutral’ position on assisted suicide - which will be a very big boost to assist suicide campaigners, insinuating that there has been a shift in medical opinion on this issue.
Please sign our petition to Andrew Goddard, president of the RCP, asking that the College halt the rollout of the current survey. We are asking that instead, if there is an appetite from within their membership to survey members and fellows to reach a position on assisted suicide, that this is structured in a manner that is trustworthy and democratic.