World Medical Association Reaffirms its Strong Opposition to Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia


The World Medical Association (WMA) recently held its 70th General Assembly meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, and reaffirmed a commitment: “to the principles of medical ethics and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. ┬áTherefore, the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

“For the purpose of this declaration, euthanasia is defined as a physician deliberately administering a lethal substance or carrying out an intervention to cause the death of a patient with decision-making capacity at the patient’s own voluntary request. Physician-assisted suicide refers to cases in which, at the voluntary request of a patient with decision-making capacity, a physician deliberately enables a patient to end his or her own life by prescribing or providing medical substances with the intent to bring about death.”

“No physician should be forced to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide, nor should any physician be obliged to make referral decisions to this end.

“Separately, the physician who respects the basic right of the patient to decline medical treatment does not act unethically in forgoing or withholding unwanted care, even if respecting such a wish results in the death of the patient.”

The Patients Rights Actions Fund applauds the WMA for once again upholding their oath to “do no harm” and for standing up for patients rights and for doctors around the world who are declaring their strong opposition to killing their patients, or assisting them in killing themselves.

This summer, The American Medical Association (AMA) also reaffirmed its opposition to assisted suicide, saying in its Code of Medical Ethics that assisted suicide “is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

Read the WMA’s full statement here…

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