Presentation on theme: "The BMA and their stance on Euthanasia. What is the BMA? With over 139,000 members, representing practising doctors in the UK and overseas and medical."— Presentation transcript:
What is the BMA? With over 139,000 members, representing practising doctors in the UK and overseas and medical students, the BMA is the voice of the profession and students.
What’s their opinion? At the latest conference, doctors voted against supporting legalisation of voluntary euthanasia This was in contradiction to the previous year when the majority had indicated they would support the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia
Why? It goes against their traditional and trusted role to heal and save lives Before starting their profession, doctors take Hippocratic Oath. They make a promise to do their best to heal and save lives. This is what they are trained to do and so euthanasia, as it is taking life, goes against this Oath.
Protection of the Vulnerable Law against euthanasia protects everyone in society. Individual situations cannot override the general protection of society. Elderly, lonely and sick might feel pressurised to request it e.g. Feel they would be a burden to their family
This would also lead to people losing trust in their doctors – will they really do all they can to save their lives? Will the doctor decide they are too ill/ too old/ too disabled to be worth ‘saving’ and encourage them to ask for euthanasia when they maybe don’t really wish to die yet
Abuse of the Law How could the law, if it were passed, be regulated. How could we be sure that doctors or family members would not abuse the system and say that the patient had requested euthanasia? Therefore they do not support it and any action such as double effect or withdrawal of treatment has to be accountable to the Law.
Right to care, not death The BMA consider that a patient has a clear right to care and assistance while dying but NOT a right to insist that a doctor helps them end their life.
Refusal of Treatment However the BMA does support that a doctor should follow a patient’s wishes if he requests that his life is not prolonged by treatment that he does not wish. They respect the right of the patient to refuse life prolonging or sustaining medical treatment. However they agree that doctors should not actively intervene to end a life.
Improve Palliative Care The profession recognises that it must continue to seek ever improving palliative care rather than turning to assisted suicide. Palliative care is pain relieving treatment aimed at improving the life you have by dealing with some of the symptoms of your illness, rather than curing it.
Withdrawal of Treatment The BMA does not, however, believe that it is right to prolong life at all costs with no regard to quality of life. Modern technology has allowed us to prolong but not always reverse a condition. In these circumstances when the continuation of treatment causes burdens that are greater than benefits then the BMA would accept that life support machines or other treatment could be withdrawn.