The British Medical Association (BMA), the lead group for doctors in the United Kingdom, no longer opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide. After a vote at its annual representative meeting on Tuesday 14 September, the BMA altered its official stance from opposition to “neutrality”.
This was the result of a narrowly passed motion: 49% of representatives (149) voted for the motion, 48% (145) voted against, and eight abstained.
A position of neutrality signals that British doctors will not oppose legislation when the House of Lords begins a debate on October 22 on a bill to be introduced by the chair of Dignity in Dying, Baroness Meacher.
Sarah Wootton, of Dignity in Dying, Britain’s lead lobby group for assisted dying, was exultant. She commented: “This is an historic decision and a victory for common-sense.”