by Barbara Lyons, Coalitions Director, Patients Rights Action Fund
News from several medical associations and societies is excellent as they voted to reaffirm their opposition to assisted suicide.
The American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs has released its new report and, with a few changes, recommends again that the AMA retain its position opposing assisted suicide. At the AMA annual meeting in June of 2018, the House of Delegates referred the report back to the Council rather than affirming it. The new report is a tremendous victory for holding the line to oppose assisted suicide and sets up another battle at the June 2019 meeting. The American Academy of Family Physicians recently changed its position to “engaged neutrality” which presents a significant challenge to retaining the opposition position next year by the AMA.
[Among others who have come out in opposition to doctor prescribed death, or reaffirmed their position are: ]
·The Medical Society of Virginia, which has reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide. Many thanks to Dr. Tom Eppes for his efforts.
·Despite the fact that assisted suicide is legal in Washington State, the Washington State Medical Association has also reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide with amendment. The language reads as follows:
“The WSMA remains committed to professional standards that will always allow our patients to feel safe under our care without fear regarding any conflicting motives physicians may have. The WSMA remains committed to providing support for medical interventions that foster quality end oflife care without participation in hastening death or providing a means for patients to hasten their own death.”
Many thanks to Dr. Shane Macauley for his work to achieve this outcome.
Attempts to change the position of the World Medical Association in opposition to assisted suicide were [also] defeated. Many thanks to Dr. Jeff White who traveled to Iceland to participate in this battle.