Again, the Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) in Belfast has voted against going neutral on assisted suicide by a two to one majority. The debate took place after a previous motion affirming that ‘it is not appropriate at this time to debate whether or not to change existing BMA policy’ was defeated by 164 to 160.
But then the Delegates rejected motion 80, ‘that this meeting believes that the BMA should adopt a neutral stance on assisted dying’, by 198 to 115 (63% to 37%).
The BMA, the UK doctors’ trade union, has been opposed to the legalisation of assisted suicide and euthanasia for every year of its history with the exception of 2005-6 when it was neutral for just twelve months.
Dr Mark Porter, the Chair of BMA Council, noted that the debate marked the eighth time in 13 years that the BMA had considered the matter.