November 17, 2023

American Medical Association Rejects Proposal to Support Assisted Suicide

During a meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, the AMA rejected two resolutions that would have changed the organization's stance regarding assisted suicide.

The AMA House of Delegates met from Nov 10-14 to discuss a variety of proposals, two of which would have ended the organization's official stance opposing physician-assisted suicide. One proposal would have adopted a "neutral" stance, while the other would have adopted a stance supporting the practice. Delegates ultimately voted down both proposals.

"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 respect patient autonomy.
  • Must provide good communication and emotional support.
  • Must provide appropriate comfort care and adequate pain control."

Notably, the AMA also voted down a resolution that would have changed the terminology from "assisted suicide" to the sterilized language "Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD)."

"The take home message is that medical professionals, young physicians and medical students must be involved in the AMA," said Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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