Mass. Medical Society drops opposition to physician assisted suicide

The Massachusetts Medical Society has rescinded its opposition to physician-assisted society and adopted a “neutral engagement” position so it may serve as a medical and scientific resource for legislators.

The state Legislature is considering an “end of life options” act. The MMS has had a policy against physician assisted suicide since 1996, but recently surveyed its 25,000 members on the issue.

Patients’ Rights Action Fund responded with the following statement:

“The Patients’ Rights Action Fund is gravely disappointed in Massachusetts Medical Society for abdicating their responsibility to protect vulnerable patients from the deadly danger of legalized doctor-assisted suicide.  Legal has never been synonymous with ethical, and what has defined the medical profession is its ethical standards and physicians’ duty to self-regulate–irrespective of the state, which in our case here in the Bay State, has consistently rejected this dangerous public policy. These are core values and should not to be modified to suit the fashion of the day. The prohibition against giving a poison dates back millennia from Hippocrates and expresses a superior wisdom.  Down through the ages the ethical duties of physicians have been implemented to protect patients from exploitation.”

–Matt Valliere, Executive Director of Patients Rights Action Fund and Worcester native

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