American Medical Association retains opposition to assisted suicide

CMA member Timothy Millea, chair of the Health Care Policy Committee and Conscience Rights Protection Task Force, said in a Nov. 14 statement that the “involvement of CMA members nationwide was critical” to voting down the neutrality proposal, along with members of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), who also attended the meeting.

“The combination of online comments, contact with AMA delegates, and in-person testimony at the meeting all contributed to these decisions by the AMA,” Millea stated.

“The CMA is privileged to work alongside our colleagues from CMDA in this and many other efforts. In addition, we greatly appreciate the assistance of the Patients Rights Action Fund (PRAF), a leading voice in the fight against assisted suicide.”

One CMA member who testified at the meeting, Emily Makhlouf, said as reported by CMA: “It is not within the realm of medicine to decide when we enter this world and when we leave it. This is God’s work. In medicine, we try to cure and when cure is not possible, we try to relieve suffering as much as possible. Killing our patients will never be part of the noble pursuit of medicine.”

Assisted suicide is not the same as euthanasia, although the two phrases are often used interchangeably. 

According to the AMA’s current code of ethics, euthanasia necessarily involves “the administration of a lethal agent by another person to a patient,” meaning the person performing the euthanasia (e.g., a medical doctor) is directly responsible for ending the patient’s life. 

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