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Euthanasia opposed again

Nearly a third of GPs would help a patient to die if the law permitted, a survey reveals.

Some 30 per cent of 200 GPs surveyed by pressure group Dignity in Dying said they would be willing in principle, if the law permitted, to write a prescription to assist a patient to die, if their suffering could not be relieved by palliative care.

When asked to put themselves in the position of a terminally ill patient, 43 per cent of GPs said they would want a doctor to write a prescription for them.

The results came as doctors at the BMA's annual representative meeting in Belfast voted to reinstate its policy of opposing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide – only a year after voting for a neutral stance.

Physician-assisted suicide was rejected a majority of 165 to 88 and voluntary euthanasia by 163 to 88.

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