Event Details

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Doctors, Lawyers and Wolves: Till death do us part

RCPE Evening Meeting Edinburgh

Date: Wednesday, 12 September 2018


Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
9 Queen Street

with webstream to
University of Manchester 



Doctors are concerned that patients under their care have a good death.  Ensuring appropriate care for patients at the end of life often requires discontinuation of treatments which are no longer appropriate Similar challenging decisions and discussions frequently occur around withholding treatments which would provide no benefit to the patient. Frequently doctors and patients need to discuss whether or not cardiopulmonary resuscitation is appropriate, or when access to intensive care may be unrealistic.  These conversations at any time, and especially in the context of acute illness, can be challenging and may cause distress to patients and their families leading to complaints where withholding and/or withdrawal of treatment may be perceived as hastening death. Challenges also exist around fulfilling a patient’s wish for their preferred place of death. Many patients wish to die at home, but this may be unrealistic, yet hospice spaces are limited and hospitals can struggle to provide the appropriate environment for the dying patient.

The recognition that death may involve suffering that medicine cannot fully alleviate and occurs at a time and place out with the patient’s control leads many to advocate for assisted suicide. The greater body of professional opinion remains uneasy with such a change in the law amidst fears that any legislation may exploit the vulnerable and change the fundamental role of the doctor. Nonetheless, clarion calls continue to sound.   

Join us for our second debate in a series of medico-legal evening meetings where a panel of doctors from Palliative care, Intensive care, Medicine of the elderly will be joined by Mr David Stephenson, QC, Alex Cole Hamilton MSP and Maureen O’Neill, College Lay Representative will discuss legal aspects of end-of-life care and debate whether the law needs to be changed to permit physician assisted suicide.

Dr Conor Maguire
Dr Peter Reid
Dr Kathy Strachan


Please note that on occasion event programmes may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.


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Registration will start from 6pm with the event commencing at 6.30pm and ending by 8pm.

The event will be chaired by Dr Peter Reid, Deputy Director of Education, and our panel of expert speakers will include:

  • Mr Alex Cole Hamilton (MSP and advocate for assisted dying)
  • Dr Sarah Keir  (Medicine of the Elderly Consultant and Quality guru)
  • Dr Gordon Linklater  (Consultant, Highland Hospice)
  • Dr Graham Nimmo (Intensive Care Consultant and Educator)
  • Ms Maureen O’Neill (Lay representative)
  • David Stephenson (QC and member of the Faculty sub-committee informing the assisted dying Bill)


There will be a panel discussion followed by questions from the audience.

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This event is open to medical personnel and legal fraternity only. 
There are no free places or concessions available for this event.

There are only 140 places available at this event in RCPE 

Manchester link details will be announced as soon as details to hand

Registration fees - applicable to both sites



Senior  grade doctors/
Consultants /Advocates/



All trainees:
Trainee doctors / AHPs /Medical & Postgraduate Students/Trainee legal / Devil 



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Further Info

This event is open to all grades of medical, health care and scientific staff  and those within the legal fraternity. 

All relevant events are approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). A certificate of attendance with CPD information will be issued electronically to individual delegates via email. Please note - certificates can only be issued to attendees who have signed in on-line and completed the feedback question on-line post event. 

Please note that on occasion event programmes may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.


As a listed building, the College has restricted disabled access. A wheelchair lift is provided at the rear of the College giving access to the main historic rooms. For further information and assistance please contact the RCPE Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

An induction loop system is available in the Great Hall.

Accommodation and Directions to the College

The College has negotiated special rates with a number of local hotels.

Parking is available on street (metered) or at the Omni Centre car park, 10 minute's walk from the College.

Download pdf map and directions

Bicycle racks are available for cyclists at the door to 8 Queen Street. For access to further bicycle racks, please ask at reception.

Local walking routes

Three short walks can be enjoyed from the College. So if you are visiting us, why not explore the local area. Details can be found at Medal Routes.

Commercial Sponsorship

Many events are supported by commercial companies taking stand space. Health professionals and NHS managers are invited to visit the company stands during the breaks. Companies interested in sponsoring this, or other events listed on the Calendar, should contact the Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

Exhibitors/sponsors play no part in the planning or delivery of the event and the College has developed an Ethical Sponsorship Policy to support organising committees and committee chairs in their negotiations with potential commercial partners for education and other events.

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