Doctors push back against euthanasia move by Medical Council

At least 250 GPs have signed a letter to the Irish Medical Council stating that they are “gravely concerned” about a major change to the code of ethics governing doctors in Ireland that previously banned the deliberate killing of patients and has now lifted it. The development is being seen as a move towards paving the way to euthanasia. It was carried out without properly consulting doctors.

The recently updated 9th edition of the Medical Council’s ‘Guide to Professional Conduct’ also weakened protection of conscientious objection for doctors, removed all objection to abortion, and dropped guardrails for assisted human reproduction.

The letter from the doctors reads: “We are concerned about the risk that the removal of section 46.9 (8th edition) may pose to patients and persons in society who may be vulnerable resulting from this change.”

“Additionally we are concerned about doctors who have Freedom of Conscience positions in light of the change in section 42:9th edition functioning essentially to a mandatory requirement to act in a way that may contravene their conscience and potentially cause moral injury.”