Monday, January 29, 2018
California Healthline reports a shift in doctors' views on support for medical aid in dying, with the Massachusetts Medical Society becoming the latest chapter of the American Medical Association to drop its past opposition and to adopt a "neutral" position on medical aid in dying
From the Healthline report:
When the end draws near, Dr. Roger Kligler, a retired physician with incurable, metastatic prostate cancer, wants the option to use a lethal prescription to die peacefully in his sleep. As he fights for the legal right to do that, an influential doctors group in Massachusetts has agreed to stop trying to block the way.
Kligler, who lives in Falmouth, Mass., serves as one of the public faces for the national movement supporting medical aid in dying, which allows terminally ill people who are expected to die within six months to request a doctor’s prescription for medication to end their lives. Efforts to expand the practice, which is legal in six states and Washington, D.C., have met with powerful resistance from religious groups, disability advocates and the medical establishment.
But in Massachusetts and other states, doctors groups are dropping their opposition — a move that advocates and opponents agree helps pave the way to legalization of physician-assisted death.
The American Medical Association, the dominant voice for doctors nationwide, opposes allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending medications at a patient’s request, calling it “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.”
But in December, the Massachusetts Medical Society became the 10th chapter of the AMA to drop its opposition and take a neutral stance on medical aid in dying.
The California Medical Association ended its opposition to physician aid in dying in 2015, and new laws followed there in 2016, along with new laws enacted in Colorado and Washington D.C. The article also predicts that changing physician opinions are playing roles in New York. For more read: As Doctors Drop Opposition, Aid-in-Dying Advocates Target Next Battleground States.