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American Medical Association reviews its position on assisted death

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The American Medical Association is reviewing its opposition to medically assisted death, following a motion to maintain its position being rejected at the Association’s annual meeting.

Delegates at the meeting, held in Chicago in June, voted instead for the organisation to continue reviewing its guidance on the issue.

A lengthy debate looked at whether the doctors’ group should revise its Code of Ethics, resulting in what is known as the House Delegates voting 56 per cent to 44 per cent that its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs should further review its current position.

Delegates did not, however, vote that the Code of Medical Ethics be amended

The decision was to send a report into the position back for further discussion, meaning the position remains the same for now.

The further review is set to take place at a future policy making meeting.

The current position is that physician-assisted suicide is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer” and was adopted a quarter of a century ago.

Six States plus the District of Columbia (DC) have legalised medically assisted death. California’s law, however, was recently overturned in the courts.

CHRIS JOHNSON

 

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