In the paper's abstract, the college said they remain unsupportive of euthanasia because it "is problematic given the nature of the patient–physician relationship, affects trust in the relationship and in the profession, and fundamentally alters the medical profession's role in society."
"Furthermore, the principles at stake in this debate also underlie medicine's responsibilities regarding other issues and the physician's duties to provide care based on clinical judgment, evidence, and ethics," the abstract read, and stressed the need to focus on palliative care.
"There is no tidal wave in the U.S...the doctors don't even want this," Schadenberg said. What actually happens in the states and counties where euthanasia has been legalized, he said, is"terribly sad, because lives are being lost and vulnerable people are being abandoned."
"The reality is when you legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide, there is money that's saved because you are ending the lives of people who are not always terminally ill...but might have a significant health condition, which means they are expensive," Schadenberg said.
He condemned the "eugenics mentality" that he said drives the push for euthanasia, saying it's a part of our culture "whether we like it or not."
Schadenberg said that euthanasia supporters "look at certain lives as not worth living, they would look at certain conditions" and, coupled with the fact that euthanasia is money-saving and makes healthy organs available, "would be in favor of it for those reasons, they would say that's actually a good thing."
However, the average person who supports the euthanasia cause wouldn't argue on these points, but rather on the prospect of eliminating suffering, Schadenberg said.
People are afraid to suffer, "and that's a normal human reality," he said, explaining that "we've got to break down the issue and talk about our normal human experience, and my experience as a human being is that when I'm going through a terrible situation, I become very emotionally upset, and that's because that's how we are as humans."
"This is how we were made to be, whether you believe in God or not, we're wired this way," he said, adding that throwing in the idea of euthanasia when one is "emotionally and physically distraught" makes the situation worse.
Rather than freedom and autonomy, euthanasia and assisted suicide are about "abandonment," he said. "It's about abandoning people in a time of need, it's not about freedom."