Bishop asks Medical Council: can doctors now kill patients?

The Bishop of Elphin has asked the Irish Medical Council whether they now consider it acceptable for doctors to “take part in the deliberate killing of a patient” after a prohibition against doing so was dropped from the latest code of ethics.

Bishop Kevin Doran added that even if assisted suicide were to be legalised, “that of itself would never make the killing of patients ethical.”

As Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Council for Life, he said had written to the president of the Medical Council seeking clarification on the matter, “but my letter has received neither a reply nor even an acknowledgment”.

He said there are numerous defects in the new guide, and cited the deletion of sections on Assisted Human Reproduction (47) and Abortion (48).

He asked: “Is this simply because the law in these areas has changed? Have actions which were previously unethical, and were quite simply ‘bad medicine’, suddenly become ethical because they are now legal?”