Friends at the End Question Royal College of GPs Survey Results

RCGPs have today published the results of their latest poll on assisted dying and announced that they are maintaining their opposition to a change in the law.

The results are as follows:

What position should the RCGP take in relation to a change in the law on assisted dying (%):

Oppose — Support — Neutral — Abstain

2019 47 — 40 — 11 — 2

2013 77 — 5 — 18 — N/A

Commenting on this poll, Peter Warren, Chairman and Trustee of Friends at the End (SCIO) said,

“By any measure, this is a stunning shift in opinion and one that clearly demonstrates that GP’s have been listening to the debate on assisted dying. It is therefore very disappointing that their representative body have decided to interpret this result as one that allows the RCGP’s to retain their opposition to a change in the law. With only 47% of those who responded saying that they opposed a change in the law, FATE has to question the process that has led the College reaching this view.

The Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Nursing Scotland, Royal Society of Medicine, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Radiologists, Royal College of Anesthetists and others have all adopted the sensible position of neutrality on this matter, and the poll result today would indicate that the membership of the RCGP’s wish to join this long list. Adopting neutrality would allow RCGP’s to constructively join in the debate that is going on all around the country, and mean that GP’s can be at the heart of the assisted dying debate, rather than watching from the sidelines and denying their patients the choice of a dignified death.

In less than a week the BMA will close their own poll on this matter and FATE sincerely hopes that their members will take note of this result and emphatically move their own position towards a support in a change in the current law.