Thursday, November 14, 2013

British Medical Association (BMA) rejects Scottish assisted suicide bill

By Alex Schadenberg
The Pulse news service reported today that the British Medical Association (BMA) stated that it will oppose the euthanasia bill that is being sponsored by MSP Margo MacDonald in Scotland.
The Pulse reported that Dr Lewis Morrison, chair of the Scottish BMA consultants committee said:
‘Despite the change in approach to this, Ms MacDonald’s most recent attempt to legislate on assisted dying in Scotland, the BMA will continue to oppose the introduction of such a law.’
The BMA was quoted by the Pulse as stating:
The BMA said that doctors would be taking on a role that was ‘alien’ to their role as a care giver and that it could not support it. 
The bill was brought by MSP Margo MacDonald - an independent member for the Lothian region - in Edinburgh today and would extend to patients who had been diagnosed with chronic, degenerative diseases. 
The bill is a revision of one defeated in 2010, it drops the contentious element of physician-assisted dying and stipulates the ‘cause of death must be the person’s own deliberate act’.
Dr Morrison was also quoted as stating:
‘If doctors are authorised, by law, to kill or help kill they are taking on an additional role which we believe is alien to the one of care giver and healer. The traditional doctor-patient relationship is founded on trust and this risks being impaired if the doctor’s role encompasses any form of intentional killing.’
Margo MacDonald's last attempt to legalize assisted dying in Scotland was defeated by a vote of 85 to 16.
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