On May 4, 2018, ethicist Wesley Smith reported the good news that the American Medical Association’s Ethics Board, after a two year period of study, has rejected a proposal that the organization withdraw its opposition to assisted suicide through the mechanism of giving it the supposedly more acceptable name, “aid in dying”. The committee pointed out that “aid in dying” is an ambiguous term that could refer to other practices like euthanasia or hospice care. Assisted suicide, the committee said, is exactly that; and it recommended that the association maintain its longstanding opposition to its physician members’ participation it, opposition its report states is based on the fundamental incompatibility between assisting in suicide and the physician’s role as healer as well as on AS’s harmful unintended consequences, some of which have already been demonstrated and others which might not but could happen.
Here is Smith’s article in the National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/american-medical-association-assisted-suicide-report/.
Here is the Report of the AMA’s Council on Legal and Judicial Affairs: https://www.ama-assn.org/sites/default/files/media-browser/public/hod/a18-ceja5.pdf.
Here is the official AMA position in opposition to assisted suicide: https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/physician-assisted-suicide.
The report acknowledges the contributions of all “stakeholders” whose input informed it; this includes all of us who wrote, but especially physicians like Vermont’s Carol Salazar, whose eloquent letter to the board True Dignity published last summer: https://www.truedignity.org/a-vermont-doctor-writes-to-american-medical-association/. From the bottom of our hearts, True Dignity thanks Dr. Salazar and everyone who contributed to this decision.