RCN vote on assisted suicide

Well at least they will now be neutral but shame, huge shame, on them for a 1% participation rate in the vote.

I personally dont think this thread should be posying about this subject jesus what about all the new people who have just been diagnosed I know for sure when I was first diagnosed I know for sure I wouldnt want to have read about this. I was fighting for my life not thinking about assisted suicide I do think you should have another thread for this instead of frightening people who have just been diagnosed thats how I feel Linbob I was really shocked to read this as there are a lot of sick ladies on this site who do not wish to read this I am quite angry about this

I have supported assisted suicide/dyimg for many years and am a member of Dignity in Dying. I support a change in the law to enable terminally ill people who wish to end their lives to be supported in doing so in a dignified way without the necessity of going to Switzerland.

I am pleased that the Royal College of Nurses has recntly changed its policy position from one of opposition to a neutral stance. I see this as a welcome step forward to changing the law.

A change in the law on assisted suicide would not mean that everyone with a terminal illness would undertake assisted dying…it does not meam this at all.

Linobo…please dont assume that those of us who are terminally ill don’t want to engage with difficult and controversial issues. I for one do. There’s an essay on my website (see Profile) on this subject for anyone interested.

best wishes


But it was on the news!If people dont want to read about it they dont have to,the title is a guide and the content of the post is totally neutral.I am the worlds worst wimp but wouldnt want anyone to censor the news for me so why censor this?Its a perfectly valid item in this forum.Sorry.
love Val

Dear Linbob
I’m sorry that you are so upset by the post about the RCN vote on assisted dying but I for one feel that issues such as this should be discussed on this site.As Horace said the clue is in the title - those who don’t want to read about the subject should just skip it and go on to other posts. I’m sure that nobody here wants to deliberately upset others but we need to be able to talk about important issues like this one.


As a full member of the RCN I am really glad that they have decided to be nutral.

When I first realised I had breast cancer I had 2 main thoughts.
The first was ok if this is caught in time I have a bloody good chance of getting through this fine, some really rough times ahead but it can be cured.

My second was if its spread and is really bad and terminal I do not want to be keept alive at all costs, ie rather have a short good quality of life than a long drawn out hell, and I said this to all my doctors, and the BCNurses, even told the, surgeon + anesthatist when having my op that if something went wrong no heroics please.

This is a subject that in this country is very tabo, but then so is taking about death or illness or tranplants.
They are not comfotrable subjects, but if people dont address these issues then they remain hidden and scary.
Too many women die because they are scared when they find a lump and dont get it seen qwickly enough, too many dont go for regular testing because they hear the c word and think its a death sentance when every year treatments improve and life expectancy is better and better. Also because of the fear women in areas where they arent getting the service they should and deserve dont complin as much or as loudly as they should.

By hidding this subject I think you just cause more fear and therefore more pain.
People dont have to read it but if they want they should be able to they are after all adults with minds of theire own.


Cured? Of which type of BC do you speak when using the word “cured”?

I realise that this is digressing but I think it is a woman’s right to decline screening and that women should not be chastised into screening or for declining it. Unfortunately the current literature that accompanies a screening appointment is incomplete and deliberately “highlights” only the benefits of screening.

I speak as one, with a strong family history, who was denied screening when I requested it.

I guess I am off topic now entirely.

Dahlia -re your first comment (and quite apart from anything else) I agree with you that it is just appalling that such a tiny percentage of the RCN membership responded to this poll.

As a former nurse & member of the RCN I know that this is typical of many nurses who want full professional status - but chicken out when it comes to getting involved in ethical issues.

As a practising Christian I think this is a really important issue and one that will have to be faced; we can’t go on fudging it.

It is just not acceptable for very sick people to have to go to Switzerland ‘to die with dignity’. I don’t know what the alternative is- given the present state of the NHS - but I think that all of us have a right to air the subject - whether or not we have BC - and airing it on these forums seems entirely appropriate to me.

Why shouldn’t this issue be discussed? This subject is all over the print and broadcast media and this is the Hot Topics section of the forum.

I share the disgust at 1% participation.

There is nothing wrong with the word “cure”. My onc and surgeon use it freely and Susan Love reckons that 3/4 of women with BC are cured. The difficulty is in identifying which women are cured and which aren’t.

The cure …

Listened to Susan Love - nice for the statisticians I’d say but not much use to patients!

Unless/until the word cure can be known to apply to someone (and right now that is not until after they are known to have died from something else) there does not really seem much point is using it because it misleads.

Note: the Breast Screening literature only goes as far as to mention “a full recovery” which some women, many even, will read as a cure or will want to interpret it that way because that is a positive slant on things. I wonder what they really mean by “full recovery” and I daresay if challenged on this they would not give a very straight answer.


I think discussion is good and hugely important. The 1% may show apathy but I also think it shows how difficult it is to decide where to stand on this. Many nurses don’t have groups or people they can easily discuss these issues with in daily life and personally I’m glad that people don’t just may decisions on a whim about decisions as important as this. I used to be a nurse and I feel torn about it.

I think it highlights the need to keep on debating this.

Hi Dahlia
Yeh I take your point maybe “in remission” would have been a better way of putting it. Think its because we all have different family historys and life experiences that its sometimes esay to foreget that others will see things from a different point of view.

To me from my personal perspective that will be a cure.

I also feel that screening should always be given to anyone where there is a family history of anythiny like this which is known to be heriditory in a large number of people if they want it.



In fact NICE guidelines are “in support” of giving screening to women with a family history as long as they meet certain criteria which I did/do. Unfortunately not all medical practitioners are 100% diligent in following NICE guidelines - enough said.

It’s nice that we can openly debate various topics on here and, whether we all agree or not on particular points, we have a healthy exchange of views and are exposed to others’ thinking. It’s always good to see things from a different perspective and I hope that a few more people will contribute to this thread and give us their take on things.

All the best

Just a thought about screening - I was wondering why more isn’t done to screen woman who have more of the known risk factors eg. started periods early, no children, no breastfeeding etc.
I fit all of the stated risk factors and yet no GP has ever discussed with me and I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 44. They were aware of all of this because I had gynae problems that needed ongoing medical treatment and quite a few surgical ones too.

I do get upset when I read stuff about risk factors (not genetic/family ones)as it is sometimes couched in terms of a criticism ie. you didn’t have kids therefore you can expect breast cancer. Maybe I’m being oversensitive but not all of us have had a choice. Sorry if I’m ranting!
Elinda x

Can i add another vote? I have bc, and a member of RCN, but i wasnt asked for my opinion!
i had my first child at 30, breastfed, menarche at 13, 2 more kids, no family history {until then, after mum dx} I was on pill on and off for 10years… ok drank too much wine…but dont smoke, weight ok…
If and when i get to that point, i will die with dignity…

Best wishes,