KFL petition to AMA: stay opposed to aiding suicide
The American Medical Association (AMA) is in the process of considering whether to forego its opposition to assisted suicide and “go neutral.” At its summer meeting, the group voted to further study the issue, after rejecting a proposal from the Louisiana delegation that would retain the AMA’s opposition to physician-assisted suicide.
Kansans for Life is sponsoring a citizen petition to urge the AMA not to abandon its long-held opposition to physician-assisted suicide. Please sign the petition here today and circulate on social networking. It is urgent that physicians hear from thousands of concerned Americans.
National Right to Life’s NRL News Today continues to cover this issue. It featured a November commentary about the AMA retreating “into the mirage of moral neutrality,” the position articulated by Dr. Frederick White, chair of the International ethics committee with the Willis Knighton Health System in Shreveport, Louisiana. White writes:
“The central premise of physician-assisted suicide is this: A doctor should be allowed to kill certain patients. …
Despite what advocates of physician-assisted suicide claim, this debate is not about autonomy. Patients with terminal conditions already have the autonomy to direct limitation or withdrawal of life-sustaining care, to request palliative and hospice care, and to even take their own lives. Physician-assisted suicide is about a method of death, about whether that method of death should allow a conspirator, and about whether that conspirator should be a doctor.
…on the most pressing life-and-death issue of our day, doctors cannot take a pass. They must choose — either a doctor will or will not be allowed to kill certain patients. “
Recently NRL News Today posted an encouraging article, announcing that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has taken a strong position that
a psychiatrist should not prescribe or administer any intervention to a non-terminally ill person for the purpose of causing death.
This implies that it is not ethical for a psychiatrist to help a non-terminally ill person to commit suicide, either by providing the means or by direct lethal injection, as is being currently practiced in The Netherlands and Belgium. Although this binds only APA members, the APA is one of the world’s most influential professional bodies. The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) is considering a similar statement.
FALSE ASSURANCE of CONTROL
Prolific author and euthanasia opponent, Wesley J. Smith, debunks the popular idea that medicalized killing will be “a last resort” reserved for the terminally ill, “to be deployed only in the context of a long-term relationship with a caring doctor and, even then, strictly when there is no other way to alleviate suffering.”
Smith reminds that no law requires objective proof of unalleviable pain and suffering before death can be administered. So-called “protective guidelines,” are false assurances, because as it works out in countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, “doctor-facilitated suicide is available to the dying, the disabled, the elderly, the mentally ill—and even some married couples who choose death over the prospect of future widowhood.” Read more about physician-assisted suicide from NRL News Today here.
TAKE ACTION: A position of “neutrality” from the AMA on physician-assisted suicide is unacceptable cowardice.