Published: 26th April 2005
The UK’s largest association of Christian doctors has today applauded the continuing opposition to euthanasia of the Royal College of Nursing.
CMF General Secretary Peter Saunders said, ‘the country’s nurses have spoken clearly and courageously on behalf of their patients and their profession. We do not need a change in the law in this country to allow either euthanasia or assisted suicide.’
Following a debate at the Royal College of Nursing annual conference in Harrogate, Maura Buchanan, deputy president of the RCN, had said yesterday: ‘Our patients do not want nurses and doctors to be skilled in delivering lethal injections, but to be skilled in delivering patient care. We are entirely opposed to any change in the law.’ This followed an earlier poll, which found that 70% of nurses are opposed to assisted dying.
Saunders continued, ‘Of all health professionals, nurses are those who spend the most concentrated time with patients and they understand better than anyone that the vast majority of calls for euthanasia are really calls for good medical care. Requests for euthanasia and assisted suicide are extremely rare when a patient’s physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs are properly met. Our priority must therefore be to make the best possible whole person care more widely available.’
'In a recent major poll conducted by doctors.net, a cybercomunity of over 113,000 UK doctors, 75% of doctors similarly affirmed that even if the law was changed they would not participate in euthanasia. Some people are welcoming euthanasia because right-to-die advocates have fed them a diet of misinformation and fear, when what they really need is to be properly informed and given hope. At a time when public opinion is wavering as a result of an emotive media campaign by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and others, the government needs to listen to the wise counsel of healthcare professionals. We applaud UK Nurses for giving such a clear signal.’
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
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.