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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Assisted Dying

There are a range of views on this issue within the College membership, as there will be within the membership of all of the Royal Colleges.

Psychiatrists have special expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. They are able to determine the presence or absence of mental illness but would not see this as a determining factor in any proposed process.  Patients with a mental disorder should be treated in the same way as patients with a physical disorder and any process should be based on capacity rather than diagnosis. 

 

Psychiatrists would not expect to be routinely asked to be involved in determining whether people are able to make the decision about assisted suicide.

 

Read the recent President's blog on the debate around assisted dying and the terminally ill.