Washington D.C., Nov 5, 2016 / 03:48 am
For years, the American Medical Association has held a strong stance against measures promoting physician-assisted suicide. But that could change.
Recently, the American Medical Association announced that it is reconsidering its position, prompting groups such as the Society of Catholic Social Scientists to speak out, urging that they maintain a firm “no” to “intentionally induced deaths.”
“Our organization strongly urges you not to change your policy,” stated an Oct. 31 letter from Society of Catholic Social Scientists president, Dr. Stephen M. Krason.
“Your organization has enormous influence in the shaping of public policy concerning healthcare and medical issues and a change in your position would almost certainly give momentum to the effort to legalize physician-assisted suicide in the U.S.”
Over the past few years, a handful of states have legalized physician-assisted suicide. The state of Colorado will vote on the measure this November.
The assisted suicide movement gained traction with the controversial case of Brittany Maynard, a brain cancer patient who relocated to Oregon in 2014 to pursue physician-assisted suicide.
Since its popularization, stories have surfaced about health-insurance companies denying medical treatment to the terminally ill, but instead insuring lethal pills that would end the patient’s life.
The Society of Catholic Social Scientists is among many groups advocating against physician-assisted suicide. Opponents also include disability rights advocates, who have called the measure “ignorant,” and Catholic leaders including Pope Francis, who said that assisted suicide is “false compassion.”