A new medical code of practice that removes the prohibition on deliberately ending a patient’s life and weakens freedom of conscience has alarmed hundreds of doctors, according to Hope Ireland. The move is seen as paving the way for euthanasia.
The human rights group, which opposes euthanasia, has called for the issue “to be reviewed by the Medical Council, and for a public debate on the deeply concerning practical implications of these new guidelines.”
“Doctors across the country have voiced their worry by the removal of the guideline preventing doctors from participating in the deliberate ending of a patient’s life,” Hope Ireland spokesperson Siobhán Traynor said.
“It is widely suspected that this section has been deleted due to an expectation on the part of the Medical Council that Ireland will soon introduce a form of euthanasia and assisted suicide. An Oireachtas Special Committee is currently deliberating on whether to introduce such a law. Hope Ireland has campaigned strongly against these proposals, which would inevitably set a precedent for an ever-expanding law (as has been in the case in the vast majority of jurisdictions which initially introduced a limited form of euthanasia) whilst undermining investment in palliative care”.