“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” On June 10 the American Medical Association (AMA) voted 360-190 to affirm Report 2 of The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA 2), a nuanced report that ultimately favors maintaining […]
The 2019 legislative session has been a busy time for physician-assisted suicide activists and their adversaries. In the first three and a half months of 2019 alone, 20 states introduced legislation to legalize or expand physician-assisted suicide. Of those states, 11 defeated legislation and one, New Jersey, legalized assisted suicide. Nine states still have active […]
Proponents of assisted suicide often dismiss “slippery slope” arguments on the grounds that proper safeguards will assure that assisted suicide will not devolve into euthanasia, either voluntary or not.
Earlier this year, for example, Hawaii became another of several states to consider legislation to legalize assisted suicide (the effort failed). During debate, one lawmaker who supported the bill dismissed concerns over where legalization might lead, saying “the inclusion of protections, such as euthanasia bans, helps allay the fears of critics who worry about the ‘slippery slope.’”
For almost a quarter of a century, the American Medical Association (AMA) has opposed physician-assisted suicide, stating that it is “fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” In strong language, the AMA has concluded that “permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good” and that physicians “should not abandon a patient once it is determined that cure is impossible.”
Voters in Colorado will determine whether physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is to be legalized in their state when they head to the polls this November. California, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont are the only other states that have voted to allow physicians to assist their patients in committing suicide. In Montana, the practice was legalized via a state court decision.
Death by euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide is primed to take off in Canada, as Parliament passed Bill C-14 on June 17. The law, which establishes guidelines under which Canadians can receive assistance in killing themselves or be euthanized by medical personnel, received royal assent the same day. Royal assent can be supplied by the Governor General and does not denote approval by Buckingham Palace.