Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The AMA is Not Studying Their Position on Physician-Assisted Suicide

National Right to Life

Editor’s note. This comes from Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide.

Recently, numerous accounts in the media and online have indicated that the American Medical Association (AMA) is taking steps toward changing their official policy position on physician-assisted suicide [PAS] from opposed to neutral. Fortunately, this chatter is inaccurate. In fact, although the AMA is currently considering the policy landscape in the U.S. surrounding PAS, they have no plans to make any changes to their policy of opposition.

This confusion was laid bare in a New York Times article from January 16th that originally stated the AMA planned to change their policy position on PAS from opposed to neutral.

However, as you can see below from the January 19th correction to this article, the AMA responded that they have no such plans and are not actively considering any change to its policy on this issue.

“Correction: January 19, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the American Medical Association’s stance on physician-aided dying. At its 2016 annual meeting, the association commissioned its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs to “outline the current landscape surrounding the issue of physician-assisted suicide.” That report, expected in June, will not recommend any policy. The Association did not agree to study whether to shift from its position opposing physician participation in assisted-dying to a neutral position.”
What’s troubling about this situation is that Compassion & Choices, the primary PAS proponent across the country, started the rumor last June that AMA was reconsidering their position on PAS. The timing of this rumor was problematic though as the AMA released their revised Code of Medical Ethics the same month.

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