Tuesday, October 10, 2023

American Medical Association (AMA) is debating assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The American Medical Association Policy 5.7 on assisted suicide currently states:
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.

Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life.


• Should not abandon a patient once it is determined that cure is impossible.
• Must respe∘ct patient autonomy.
• Must provide good communication and emotional support.
• Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control.
At the Interim meeting of the AMA House of Delegates on November 10 - 14, 2023 in Maryland, 50 draft resolutions will be debated. Two of the draft resolutions will concern assisted suicide and euthanasia.
  • Resolution 4 is to change the position of the AMA on Medical Aid in Dying (Resolution Link).
  • Resolution 5 is for the AMA to adopt a neutral stance on Medical Aid in Dying (Resolution Link).
It is important to note that Resolution 4 would remove the AMA statement on not performing euthanasia or participating in assisted suicide:
Physicians must not perform euthanasia or participate in assisted suicide. A more careful examination of the issue is necessary. Support, comfort, respect for patient autonomy, good communication, and adequate pain control may decrease dramatically the public demand for euthanasia and assisted suicide. In certain carefully defined circumstances, it would be humane to recognize that death is certain and suffering is great. However, the societal risks of involving physicians in medical interventions to cause patients' deaths is too great in this culture to condone euthanasia or physician- assisted suicide at this time.
Both resolutions use the term Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) rather than Physician Assisted Suicide. The term Medical Aid in Dying is not limited to assisted suicide, it also includes euthanasia. The assisted suicide lobby wants to legalize euthanasia (medical homicide) in America.

Both resolutions need to be vigorously opposed. The assisted suicide lobby likely introduced both resolutions to create the impression that Resolution 5 (adopting a neutral stance on Medical Aid in Dying) is a compromise resolution, whereas, both resolutions will effectively lead to the same outcome.


gadfly said...

There's no such thing as neutral ground. Neutral ground supports the abuser in every case, so this supports the enthusiasts in this case. It will slip from 'neutral' to 'in favour of' in short order if that happens.

Meghan said...

Frustrating that they would even entertain this given what’s going on in the country next to us. Although I have always opposed all forms of PAS, I found the proponents desire to legalize it for terminally ill people more understandable and sympathetic when regimes like Belgium lay across the ocean in Belgium. Opening the door to the human rights dumpster fire burning next to us so that the primarily proponents can plan perfect deaths is just ugly.

TomKoch said...

Is there a pathway for Canadians with experience in this area to submit briefs to the US folk regarding the current discussion on medical termination?

Unknown said...

The Hippocratic oath (the very foundation of good medicine) expressly forbids assisted suicide. Further, the motto of the good physician is "primum no nocere"/"above all, do no harm". I can't imagine a greater harm to health than is represented by assisted suicide. When human life is deemed worthy of protection on the basis of perceived "quality" and suicide of any kind becomes what some deem to be an acceptable option, then no life is safe! Remember it was not long before anyone not born a blond and blue eyed member of the Aryan race was considered a target for extermination in Nazi Germany. Go to youtube and watch the video entitled "First They Came for the Jews" to see the catastrophic consequences to such a mindset. We must retain those good foundational principles to avoid the slippery slope into demographic winter...!

Alex Schadenberg said...

Thank you Tom.

This is voted on by the House of Delegates. I don't have a list of the House of Delegates but there have been many members who have consistently opposed assisted suicide.

In other words, I need a few names of the members who are on the House of Delegates.

Anonymous said...

America can overturn euthanasia, aka Glucksberg, when it can be shown an incompetent patient was forced to sign for DWD or a DNR without informed consent. Bobby Brown bobbynorthlake@gmail.com

Eileen Ritchie said...

Unfortunately medical students no longer takes the Hippocratic oath as my father did on completing medical school in 1950. Then he lived it for 55 years as a thoracic surgeon , Right to Life advocate, delegate to AMA and director of Ohio Department of Health under late governor George Voinovich. My brother also a retired physician joked today that he was going to check today my Dad's grave to see if he was rotating!.He predicted in 1970 when he joined with physicians Mildred Jefferson and Gene Diamond that abortion on demand was a direct route to euthanasia, he got involved in antiabortion efforts because he felt the need to protect his vulnerable cancer ridden patients from euthanasia. I've worked In hospice and palliative care for 15 years. Excellent end of life care can relieve patient suffering and support families. Ironically I retired due to a diagnosis of terminal ovarian cancer and I have been receiving excellent care
If this care was available to all patients