CNA Staff, Nov 14, 2023 / 18:00 pm
The House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) has rebuffed an effort to change the organization’s current stance in opposition to physician-assisted suicide, a development that drew praise from members of the Catholic Medical Association, which advocated against the change.
According to the CMA, a resolution supporting physician-assisted suicide was proposed at an AMA House of Delegates meeting that took place Nov. 10–14 in National Harbor, Maryland. The resolution would have changed the organization’s stance on the practice from opposed to neutral. Ultimately, delegates voted down the proposal, CMA said.
The AMA’s current code of ethics states that permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide — which it defines as a physician providing the means or information for a patient to engage in a life-ending act — would “ultimately cause more harm than good.”
“Physician-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. Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life,” the AMA’s current code reads.