There was a strong attempt in the past few months to require effective referral of patients, overriding conscientious objection, for assisted suicide, euthanasia and other procedures in the new International Code of Medical Ethics being revised by the World Medical Association (WMA).
The initial draft of the Code contained language which required effective referral. Dr. Dan Sulmasy presented a strong case against effective referral at the initial meeting in Jakarta in early July and the effective referral language was eliminated at the August Washington, DC meeting through the excellent work of a group of American and Canadian physicians.
We are pleased to report that at the General Assembly meeting in Berlin, Germany last week, final approval was given to the Code of Ethics with the new compromise language eliminating effective referral
The dedication and work of these physicians, with the assistance of the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, now protect the medical profession from the encroachment of efforts to force physicians to comply with unethical procedures over conscientious objection.