UK nurses' group ends opposition to assisted dying
Saturday 25 July 2009
Britain's main nurses' organization has dropped its opposition to assisted suicide, as a new poll shows solid support for the right to die.
The Royal College of Nursing says it is adopting a neutral stance on the issue. Doctors group the British Medical Association remains opposed.
Under British law, assisting a suicide is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but prosecutions are rare.
A survey by Populus published today found 74 per cent of people wanted the medical profession to be able to supervise assisted suicides, although a large majority felt it should be legal only in specific circumstances.
The issue was back in the headlines this month after 85-year-old British conductor Edward Downes and his wife Joan died at a Swiss suicide clinic.
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