General Article Impact on the medical profession and doctor-patient relationships

Topic Selected: Euthanasia
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

The doctor–patient relationship is one founded primarily on trust and opponents to a change in the law argue that by taking on the additional role of assisted dying, trust could be lost and the doctor–patient relationship damaged. The majority of medical practitioners in the UK currently oppose the legalisation of assisted dying and the British Medical Association remains ‘opposed to doctors taking a role in any form of assisted dying’. In this regard, it is important that doctors with a conscientious objection to assisted dying should be exempt from taking part.

In what ways might the legalisation of some form of assisted dying affect the integrity of the medical profession? One issue is the practicality of enacting the law if a majority of doctors conscientiously object to assisting their patients to die. The Association for Palliative Medicine, for example, have voiced concerns that legislation could cause a polarisation in the medical profession and lead to the development of a...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for a no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection