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World Briefing / Britain

Support for assisted suicide

July 26, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Britain's main nurses' organization has dropped its opposition to assisted suicide, as a new poll showed strong public support for the right to die.

The Royal College of Nursing said it was adopting a neutral stance on the issue after its research showed nurses were divided. The British Medical Assn., a doctors group, remains opposed.

Under British law, assisting a suicide is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but prosecutions are rare.

A new survey found 74% of people wanted the medical profession to be able to supervise assisted suicides. But a large majority, 85%, felt it should be legal only in specific circumstances.

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