• Irish College of General Practitioners presents before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Assisted Dying today (28 November), in relation to safeguarding medical professionals.
  • ICGP shares perspectives of members on safeguarding both patients and medical professionals if assisted dying legislation is introduced.

(embargo 0700hrs Tuesday 28 November 2023) The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is the professional body for general practice in Ireland. The ICGP is the representative organisation for education, training and standards in general practice with 4,200 members, and 1,032 trainees in supervised practice. It is responsible for training GPs on a four-year National Training programme.

The ICGP were invited to speak before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Assisted Dying (JCAD), in relation to safeguarding medical professionals.

The ICGP presented its submission to the JCAD, in considering the key issues around safeguarding medical professionals and patients should legislation on assisted dying become law.

The ICGP delegation comprised:

  • Dr Diarmuid Quinlan, Medical Director, ICGP
  • Dr Deirdre Collins, Chairperson, ICGP
  • Mr Fintan Foy, Chief Executive Officer, ICGP

The College’s submission stated that the College has initiated engagement and education with members to identify and support the perspectives of all GP members. This engagement included a workshop for the ICGP Council members, keynote address at our national conference in October 2023, information articles in our member communications and the ICGP also engaged RedC Research & Marketing to undertake a qualitative exploration of members’ views on assisted dying.

The RedC report, entitled “Voluntary Assisted dying: A report based on ICGP Membership Consultation”  found that most GPs recognise assisted dying is a societal issue, warranting public and professional discussion. GPs value informed professional discussion and clinical education “to help our patients”. While some GPs “are vehemently opposed, and others strongly in support of assisted dying, the majority are conflicted, in the provision or support of such a service”. The report identified that most “would not like to get personally involved”, there is “more passive acceptance than support or rejection, and most (GPs) want the opportunity to discuss this with their peers and ultimately with their patients”.

The ICGP members identified key safeguards for patients and medical professionals, should legislation be introduced, including:

  • Safeguarding vulnerable people
  • Recognising and protecting conscientious objection
  • Providing comprehensive oversight and robust governance
  • Safeguarding Palliative Care services
  • Protecting the Doctor-Patient relationship.


ISSUED BY: Aileen O’Meara, Communications Consultant, Irish College of General Practitioners. Tel. 01 2542984 / 087 2239830.

Email: media@icgp.ie