Published: 21st February 2020
The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has welcomed today's decision by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to continue to oppose assisted dying (assisted suicide and euthanasia).
CMF's CEO, Dr Mark Pickering, commented: "Those campaigning for a change in the law have pushed hard for the RCGP to go neutral, so they could have presented this to Parliament and the public as 'doctors dropping their opposition'. Despite variations of views amongst GPs, the clear main view is that of opposition to law change. Many doctors recognise the dangers of changing laws designed to protect terminally ill and disabled people from feeling pressure, real or perceived, to end their lives.
"Legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia would fundamentally alter the doctor-patient relationship. Recent Canadian experience has shown how the medical culture can shift rapidly once laws change, leading to pressure on doctors who have conscientious objections. Canadian law is already extending further after only three years, removing initial references to terminal illness and demonstrating rapid incremental extension that should give great concern in the UK.
"The current laws protecting vulnerable people represent a natural boundary and do not need changing. Instead we need to refocus our attention on providing the very best palliative care to all who need it, and ending the current postcode lottery on palliative care."
For media inquiries, please contact Alistair Thompson on 07970 162225.
Notes to editors
The Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded seventy years ago and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 British doctor, nurse and midwife members in all specialties. A registered charity, it is linked to about 80 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.