On Tuesday 28th June at Manchester International Convention Centre (MICC), the BMA debated Assisted Suicide. Their position was that they opposed all forms of euthanasia including assisted suicide.
Listen to the debate here. I was really pleased that one of the speakers mentioned that I was outside and supporting their current position.
I was outside handing out my leaflet which asked them not to go down the Oregon Trail. Oregon supports Assisted Suicide.
On Thursday the delegates voted 53% to
47% in favour of adopting a neutral position.
Response to the BMA vote on euthanasia 30th June 2005
What do you think of the vote that the BMA took yesterday?
I am deeply disappointed. This is a big step towards the slippery slope of introducing euthanasia to this Country. Once in place there will be no need for palliative care as in Holand where euthanasia is legal.
Taking a neutral stance is giving the Government permission to pursue its hidden agenda to legalise assisted suicide by 2009.
The Government and the General public are not equipped to make the decision on euthanasia because they are bombarded by negative images of disabled and severely ill people. Disability is still regarded as a fate worse than death and terminal illness is just seen as being full of pain.
People are not reminded that professional palliative care can address at least 95% of pain. An example of this is that Dennis Potters last two plays and a major television interview happened when he was in the last months of a painful terminal illness. Even though he could only work for around five hours a day, he produced two of his most memorable plays for the BBC and Channel 4.
Doctors can often get their diagnoses wrong. A very recent example of the is Abigail Witchell who was not expected to live at all after the horrendous attack on her, but as we have seen, if the right frame of mind can be maintained, miracles can sometimes happen.
Giving people the option of ending their life prematurely devalues the life they have left and gives them the message not to bother any more.
Only 400 doctors out of 120,000 voted yesterday and the vote was extremely close. I hope that those not in favour of sitting on the fence will now stand up and be counted.