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British doctors reject proposed euthanasia law ahead of Lords vote

[JURIST] British doctors belonging to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) [profession websites] have said they oppose [RCGP statement] a bill now before the UK House of Lords [official website] that would permit terminally ill patients to choose death by euthanasia. The RCGP says it "firmly believes that with current improvements in palliative care, good clinical care can be provided within existing legislation." Over 70 percent of doctors are against the proposed euthanasia law, according to two surveys conducted by the RCP [RCP statement].

Proponents of the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [text], partly based on the Oregon Death With Dignity Act [PDF text] which survived a US Supreme Court challenge [JURIST report] early this year, contend that the present law is not an adequate deterrent for doctors who currently perform secret assisted suicides without following the necessary safeguards. The Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill [PDF text] is up for a critical second reading vote in the House of Lords on Friday. UPI has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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