23-06-2016

Assisted suicide: British doctors reaffirm their opposition


During its annual convention in Belfast on June 21, 2016, the British Medical Association (BMA) reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide.

The BMA is the professional association and the official union for medical doctors and students in the United Kingdom.

A motion was submitted for vote which aimed to call into question the BMA’s position on assisted suicide. Motion 80 stated that the BMA should adopt a neutral position on assisted suicide. It was rejected by two thirds of the delegates.

The advocates of assisted suicide pushed for this debate, whereas Parliament had rejected a bill on medical aid in dying in 2015. They reproached the BMA for not discussing the issue. However, the BMA had already addressed the issue on several occasions, and has not changed its position.

There have been recent precedents in Canada and in California, where the doctor’s associations have adopted a position of “neutrality” some time before the legalization of assisted suicide.