AMA Retains Policy against Assisted Suicide

By Wesley J. Smith

I am a frequent critic of the medical establishment. But not this time.  It didn’t make much news, but the American Medical Association had another vote to repeal its existing policy against assisted suicide, and for the fourth time — good on them — the delegates refused to budge.

The current policy remains in place, which states in part:

Euthanasia is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.

Euthanasia could readily be extended to incompetent patients and other vulnerable populations.

The involvement of physicians in euthanasia heightens the significance of its ethical prohibition. The physician who performs euthanasia assumes unique responsibility for the act of ending the patient’s life.

Instead of engaging in euthanasia, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the
end of life. Physicians:
(a) Should not abandon a patient once it is determined that a cure is impossible.
(b) Must respect patient autonomy.
(c) Must provide good communication and emotional support.
(d) Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control

The AMA also refused to change the descriptive and accurate term “assisted suicide” to the euphemistic “medical aid in dying.”

As I described here, the Danish Council of Ethics recently reached the same conclusion.

The death agenda can be stopped. Onward.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.