AMA Wrestles with Physician-Assisted Suicide Stance


Physicians tussled here over whether the American Medical Association should continue its opposition to physician-assisted suicide (PAS) — also known as “aid-in-dying.”

At the AMA’s House of Delegates’ Interim Meeting on Sunday, dozens of physicians made impassioned speeches, clashing over whether to ultimately endorse an AMA policy report that, while it reflected more nuanced views, ultimately left the association’s code intact, declaring PAS “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.”

James “Jim” Sabin, MD, chair of the AMA’s Council on Ethical & Judicial Affairs (CEJA) presented the council’s study on “Aid in Dying as an End of Life Option” and “The Need to Distinguish ‘Physician Assisted Suicide’ and ‘Aid-in-Dying'” during a committee meeting Sunday morning…

In response to the feedback CEJA received, the council revised its report and integrated “crucial material” into its recommendations, Sabin said.

“We believe that the code as it exists is excellent moral guidance to our profession,” said Sabin, of Code 5.7 ,which states the AMA’s opposition to PAS/aid-in-dying and a second Code 1.17 the “Physician’s Exercise of Conscience,” which addresses the concerns of those practicing in states where PAS is legal.

Read more at MedPage Today…

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