CV NEWS FEED // The American Medical Association (AMA) will debate whether to reverse its stance on assisted suicide this month at its next interim meeting.
A set of resolutions, proposed by AMA’s Resident and Fellow section, suggest the AMA should abandon its opposition to assisted suicide, adopting instead a neutral stance on the practice.
The resolutions also propose changing the official language from “assisted suicide” to “medical aid in dying” (MAID) at the meeting, which will take place on November 10-14.
These proposals, if adopted, fundamentally change the AMA’s position on assisted suicide.The AMA determined in its last policy deliberations that assisted suicide is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.”
The resolutions suggest that “medical aid in dying” is “a matter of personal autonomy” and the result of a right to “self-determination.” They also blame the AMA’s historic opposition to assisted suicide as responsible for creating “conflict in the ethical obligations” of medical professionals.
The resolutions note that “1 in 5 Americans live in a state where [assisted suicide] is legal,” adding that “61% of U.S. adults support allowing medical assistance in dying.”
“Physicians must not perform euthanasia or participate in assisted suicide. A more careful examination of the issue is necessary,” the current policy says, calling “the societal risks” of involving medical professionals in assisted suicide “too great to condone.”
Tim Millea, M.D, Chair of Catholic Medical Association’s Health Care Policy Committee, is calling on Catholics, and especially medical professionals, to contact their local representatives in the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates (HOD) to express opposition to these amendments.
“Please sacrifice some of your time and take action on this issue,” he said in a statement. “We must stop this unethical effort.”