Massachusetts Medical Society drops opposition to doctor-prescribed suicide

By Anne Fox, President
Massachusetts Citizens for Life

The Massachusetts Medical Society voted Saturday to drop its opposition to physicians giving lethal drugs to their patients.

The resolution defines “medical aid in dying” as “the act of providing care — palliative, hospice, compassionate — to patients at the end of life.” Sounds okay but it means they have dropped their long and firm opposition to doctor-prescribed suicide. (In 2011 the vote was 76% opposing doctor-prescribed suicide.)

The society says it will be “neutrally engaged” in the debate over medical aid in dying — which, if legalized in the state of Massachusetts, the society would recognize as an option for end-of-life care.

Many, many doctors opposed the resolution, led by Dr. Barbara Rockett, Dr. William Lawton, and Dr. Mark Rollo.

This is not the end of the fight but it does make the fight that much harder.