American Doctors Reaffirm Opposition to Euthanasia


Despite a concerted effort by euthanasia advocates, the American Medical Association has voted to retain its long-standing opposition to assisted suicide. The vote was 65-35, a huge margin of victory for doctors who want the AMA to continue treating patients, not killing them.


The battle over the AMA vote took place over the course of several years of interim and annual meetings. But physicians, medical students, interns and residents from across the US spoke up in support of the AMA’s anti-assisted suicide position.


The Association’s Reference Committee overwhelmingly recommended that the House of Delegates affirm CEJA 2, a report recommending maintaining the AMA’s opposition to assisted suicide. At the committee meeting, Dr. Dan Sulmasy debated the lead doctor from the pro-euthanasia group Compassion and Choices. 


The vote is notable because the AMA is one of the largest medical organisations in the US, and medical societies are influential when it comes to legislators making policy decisions and in shaping public opinion.


The AMA policy states:


It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress–such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness–may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.


In the past year, the Council on Ethics and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) has deliberated twice and concluded both times that the current AMA policy on assisted suicide should be maintained.


Also recently, the World Medical Association also maintained its opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Life News. June 10.

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