After failing to obtain a 60% majority of doctors against assisted dying, the Royal College of Physicians has abandoned its opposition to this practice and adopted a neutral stance on the matter.
A survey of nearly 7,000 English doctors shows that 43.4% of them want the Royal College of Physicians to oppose any change in the law, while 31.6% want it to support assisted dying, compared to 24.6% in 2014.
The percentage of doctors willing to participate in assisted dying has risen from 21.4% in 2014 to 24.6% today.
Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the college, explained: “It is clear that there is a range of views on assisted dying in medicine, just as there is in society”. The neutral stance adopted means that “the Royal College of Physicians neither supports nor opposes a change in the law and we won’t be focusing on assisted dying in our work. Instead, we will continue championing high-quality palliative care services”.
Four doctors said they would seek a judicial review of the results, but the Royal College of Physicians said that this possibility had been rejected by the High Court on Thursday.