DOCTORS have reacted angrily to the decision by their peak body, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, to remove a keynote speaker from the program of its 2015 conference now underway in Cairns.
Associate Professor Arnold Gillespie of Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice, writing on behalf of 63 others, has called on the executive to explain why an address by Dr Rodney Syme was canned.
Dr Syme, a euthanasia advocate, was to have led a discussion on the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of palliative care, based on published material.
The vice president of Dying with Dignity in Victoria, Dr Syme said he was first told by phone that his invitation to speak had been withdrawn because of complaints.
Dr Syme said he would ensure the speech he was to give to this week's conference was widely distributed.
Prof Gillespie's letter described the executive's actions as "more in keeping with a totalitarian authority than a group committed to breaking boundaries and encouraging debate".
"Neither the magnitude of the dissent, nor the composition of the dissenting group, has been clarified," he wrote.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians failed to respond to questions put to it yesterday by the Sunshine Coast Daily.
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