Conclusions of a
British Medical Association Review
of Guidelines on Euthanasia
The council of the BMA has approved The Euthanasia Report, prepared by a working party, which was chaired by Sir Henry Yellowlees. 1 ... The conclusions in the report are reproduced here.
Some patients see death as the fitting conclusion to the events of their life. These people may wish neither to hasten their death nor to delay it. For them, death is a mystery which they approach with tranquility. There are limits to medical science and it is inappropriate for doctors to insist on intruding in these circumstances.
There is a distinction between an active intervention by a doctor to terminate life and a decision not to prolong life (a nontreatment decision). In both of these categories there are occasions on which a patient will ask for one of these courses of action to be taken and times when the patient could say but does not. There are also occasions where the patient is incompetent to decide.
An active intervention by anybody to terminate another person's life should remain illegal. Neither doctors nor any other occupational group should be placed in a category which lessens their responsibility for their actions.____________________