Wednesday, September 20, 2017

American College of Physician opposes assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has published an updated position on assisted suicide and yet the updated position continues to clearly oppose physician-assisted suicide while urging excellent pain and symptom management. Link to the ACP position statement.

The Position of the ACP:
The ACP affirms a professional responsibility to improve the care of dying patients and their families. 
The ACP does not support the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, the practice of which raises ethical, clinical, and other concerns. The ACP and its members, including those who might lawfully participate in the practice, should ensure that all patients can rely on high-quality care through to the end of life, with prevention or relief of suffering insofar as possible, a commitment to human dignity and management of pain and other symptoms, and support for families. Physicians and patients must continue to search together for answers to the challenges posed by living with serious illness before death
The ACP conclusion:
Society's goal should be to make dying less, not more, medical. Physician-assisted suicide is neither a therapy nor a solution to difficult questions raised at the end of life. On the basis of substantive ethics, clinical practice, policy, and other concerns, the ACP does not support legalization of physician-assisted suicide. This practice is problematic given the nature of the patient–physician relationship, affects trust in that relationship as well as in the profession, and fundamentally alters the medical profession's role in society. Furthermore, the principles at stake in this debate also underlie medicine's responsibilities on other issues and the physician's duty to provide care based on clinical judgment, evidence, and ethics. Control over the manner and timing of a person's death has not been and should not be a goal of medicine. However, through high-quality care, effective communication, compassionate support, and the right resources, physicians can help patients control many aspects of how they live out life's last chapter.
The position of the ACP recognizes the importance of the patient/physician relationship and the importance of caring for and not killing patients.

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Wonderfully stated. They had only to look north and see the mucky quagmire that Canadian physicians have landed in.