Thursday, 30 June 2011

What the doctors think

The British Medical Association is holding its annual representatives' meeting in Cardiff this week. This morning they discussed Motion 305

"That this Meeting:-
i) notes that the significant majority of members of Lord Falconer’s Commission on Assisted Dying are publically in favour of assisted suicide and euthanasia;
ii) supports the BMA’s stance in not giving evidence to the DEMOS Commission on Assisted Dying;
iii) questions the stated impartiality and independence of the Commission on Assisted Dying;
iv) requests the BMA Ethics Committee to make the Association’s opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia clear to the Commission on Assisted Dying;
v) requests the BMJ
 editorial team to present a balanced and unbiased coverage of the Commission on Assisted Dying."

All five parts were passed by a clear majority on a show of hands. It seems I'm not alone in my opinion of the Falconer "commission". Next week I'm due to try to explain my reasons to BBC TV West. Peter Saunder's blog will give you a full account of the background and implications.

You'll be surprised, perhaps, to know that the BBC haven't yet reported this, though they did headline the doctors' opposition to changing the clocks to double summertime. I probably don't need to comment further.

In order to be even-handed though, I did think that Evan Davis on the Today Programme give Cabinet Minister, Francis Maude, an appropriately rigorous cross-examination about public service pensions (2 hrs 11 min in), pointing out that the annual cost of them was set to decrease by 25% in the next few decades. The minister seemed not to have been as well briefed as he might have been.

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