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For Physicians, “Studied Neutrality” on Assisted Suicide Is a Cop Out

Wesley J. Smith

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For years — decades, actually — euthanasia forces have tried to take MD opposition off the table by convincing major medical associations to adopt a position of “studied neutrality.” Studied neutrality? What does that mean: We’re going to pay careful attention to the issue and express no opinion?

Now, the American Medical Association, heretofore an implacable opponent of assisted suicide, is apparently going to “restudy” the issue. From the Right to Life News Today story:

At its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) rejected a Louisiana State Medical Society proposal to reaffirm the AMA’s long-standing policy against physician assisted suicide. Instead it approved a study-resolution to explore AMA adoption of a neutral position on physician assisted suicide, which was often referred to as “aid-in-dying” in the debate.

If the AMA goes “neutral” it will be a cowardly abdication of the organization’s obligation to be leaders regarding crucial healthcare issues. I mean, how can the AMA be indifferent on the question of whether doctors should be allowed to exterminate their ill patients who want to die?

One hopes that, after having a deep conversation, the rank and file of the AMA will follow its brothers and sisters in the British Medical Association in continuing to oppose assisted suicide. At its convention, members voted (for the third time in recent years) not to go “neutral,” which is another way of actually saying, not to jump on the assisted suicide bandwagon.

Photo credit: © 2016
Cross-posted at Human Exceptionalism.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.



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