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Sir Graeme Catto responds to BMA assisted dying project

Sir Graeme Catto (Chair of Dignity in Dying and former president of the General Medical Council) has responded to yesterday’s announcement that the British Medical Association has announced a project which will be “held across the UK to engage doctors and the public in debate about end-of-life care and physician-assisted dying” (full story here).

Sir Graeme Catto, Chair of Dignity in Dying, said:

“Although I disagree with the BMA’s current position of opposition to a change in the law on assisted dying, I welcome its acknowledgement that there are a wide range of views on this issue amongst its members and their commitment to undertake this important project. Specifically, I welcome the initiative, seemingly unique amongst medical professional bodies in this country, to ask the public what they think. The BMA’s approach must be fair, and it must be open minded. The BMA may be currently of the view that a majority of the public are wrong to support a change in the law. However, they should be aware that when the Canadian Medical Association undertook a similar exercise this year it became clear that their position of opposition was untenable in light of the available evidence.”


Notes to editor:

About Dignity in Dying:

Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care. Dignity in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.

Media spokespeople & contact:

We can offer interviews with a variety of case studies, Peers and experts upon request. For all Dignity in Dying media enquiries, please contact Michael Charouneau on 020 7479 7732 / 07725 433025 or at