Azara Blog: The RCN no longer opposes assisted suicide

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Date published: 2009/07/25

The BBC says:

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has dropped its opposition to the concept of helping patients to commit suicide.

The college has now adopted a neutral stance, neither supporting nor opposing a change in the law.

Health staff who provide patients with the drugs needed to kill themselves can face up to 14 years in prison.

The move comes as a survey for a newspaper suggests 74% of people want doctors to be able to help people to end their lives.

According to the survey of 1,500 people for the Times, support for assisted suicide was especially strong among those aged between 55 and 64.

The poll also suggests that six out of 10 people want friends and relatives to be able to help loved ones to die without fear of prosecution.
The RCN vote follows a three-month consultation of members, which drew over 1,200 individual responses.

Of those, 49% supported assisted suicide, but 40% were opposed to the concept.

Overall, the RCN represents 400,000 members.

Well you cannot trust any opinion poll, especially one carried out by a newspaper. And even the RCN "consultation" is a bit meaningless, since only 0.3 percent of their members bothered to respond. On the other hand, it is good that finally one medical organisation has stopped its opposition to assisted suicide. It is perhaps the beginning of the end for the academic (religious) middle class control freaks who think they should decide how and when people should die. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the BMA (which represents doctors, who are much worse control freaks than nurses) to reach the same conclusion. Of course it's also possible that the RCN will be forced by the control freaks to switch back to opposing assisted suicide.

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