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The RCGP has dropped its opposition to a Bill that would allow doctors to help terminally ill people to commit suicide.

But the college insisted its neutral stance on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, currently before the House of Lords, merely reflected a shift in 'society as a whole'.

Dr Iona Heath, chair of the RCGP ethics committee, said: 'Our role is to advise on the medical consequences of such a change, not to support or oppose it either way.'

The BMA said it continued to oppose physician-assisted suicide because that was the view of most of its members, although a survey by Medix UK found nearly one in three doctors was in favour of regulations with safeguards for medically assisted dying.

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