BMA reiterates opposition to assisted dying

The BMA has reiterated its firm opposition to legalising assisted dying in the face of renewed calls for a change in the law.

An editorial in the BMJ today calls for the Assisted Dying Bill championed by Lord Falconer to become law.

BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee, UK editor Tony Delamothe and patient editor Rosamund Snow argue that people should be able to exercise choice over their lives, which should include how and when they die.

They write: ‘Ultimately, however, this is a matter for Parliament, not doctors, to decide. Let us hope that our timid lawmakers will rise to the challenge.’

The BMJ is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BMA but has editorial independence.

BMA council chair Mark Porter acknowledged there were strongly held views within the medical profession on both sides of the assisted-dying debate.

But he insisted: ‘The BMA remains firmly opposed to legalising assisted dying. This issue has been regularly debated at the BMA’s policy-forming annual conference and recent calls for a change in the law have persistently been rejected.’ . . . [Full text]

Misconduct in scientific research acknowledged in United Kingdom

A survey published in the British Medical Journal found that more than 10% of British scientists or physicians have witnessed intentional fabrication of data during research, and 6% were aware that research misconduct had not been properly investigated.  [Reuters]

Scientific misconduct is worryingly prevalent in the UK, shows BMJ survey BMJ2012;344:e377