WASHINGTON (CNS) – The American Medical Association (AMA) is studying whether to adopt a neutral stance toward physician-assisted suicide, a turn from its long-held opposition to the practice.
The AMA planned to discuss the “current landscape surrounding assisted suicide issues” during the association’s interim meeting Nov. 12-15 in Orlando, Fla., the AMA said in an email statement.
The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Catholic Bioethics Center along with individual physicians are opposing any change in the AMA’s stance.
The secretariat and the Catholic bioethics center asked doctors in particular to contact the AMA to voice their concerns about any change in their stance on assisted suicide prior to the November discussion in Florida.
“We are mostly trying to get physicians in particular as well as experts in the area of assisted suicide and palliative care who are most compelling in their arguments against assisted suicide and against the neutrality of the medical association,” said Greg Schleppenbach, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.
“But we also secondarily urge individuals to contact the AMA as well because we’re all patients of doctors and we all have a stake in the medical professions not adopting assisted suicide,” Schleppenbach said.