CHICAGO — Delegates voted overwhelmingly to affirm the current policy opposing physician-assisted dying here at the American Medical Association (AMA) 2019 Annual Meeting.
After impassioned testimony from both sides at last year’s meeting, the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs was asked to further examine the issue.
“The AMA House of Delegates concluded that established guidance in the Code of Medical Ethics supports shared decisions that respect the deeply held beliefs of physicians and their patients with respect to assisted suicide,” said AMA President Barbara McAneny, MD. . . [Full text]
American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, American Academy of Neurology
The Declaration and associated texts you find here are my attempt, as a concerned academic, to provide a platform for the public support of freedom of conscience in health care.
Please read all of the material here. If you agree with the Declaration overall – even if you disagree with or are neutral on various details – I encourage you to add your electronic signature as a demonstration of support.
Signatures from health care professionals and academics in related fields are especially welcome, but you are encouraged to sign simply if you share my concerns and agree with the general way I have expressed them. You do not need an institutional affiliation, professional title, or any particular background. The more signatures this Declaration obtains, the more likely it is to come to the attention of policy makers and people who can amplify the message.
The texts ancillary to the Declaration are not part of its contents; they simply explain how I see and interpret the issues raised in the Declaration, and how I would like to see policy develop. By signing the Declaration, you do not indicate support for anything I say in the ancillary texts.
You will be asked only for your name, professional title (if you have one), institutional affiliation (if you have one), email address, and the country in which you reside. I may use your email occasionally to send you information about the Declaration, such as media coverage, but I will not use your email address for any other purpose. You will not be asked be involved in any other activity. The information you provide will be used solely to represent support for freedom of conscience in health care to professionals in the field (both clinical and academic), policy makers, and other interested parties who might be able to help with the promotion of this issue.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
I am grateful to the University of Reading for its support in hosting this material. The views and proposals presented here, however, represent my opinions alone. They do not, in any way, necessarily represent the views of the University of Reading or any of its officers, employees, or students.
David S. Oderberg
Sign the Declaration in Support of Conscientious Objection in Health Care
Show your support by signing the declaration.
1. The practice of medicine is a service to human dignity and doctors must adhere to the highest standards of professional competence in treating, protecting and advocating for patients.
2. In the course of their work on behalf of patients, doctors have the right not to participate in procedures which, in conscience, they believe to be wrong.
3. Doctors should not, by action or omission, deliberately shorten a patient’s life. Doctors must respect a patient’s fully-informed decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment or to request withdrawal of medical treatment.
4. Doctors have the right to refuse applications for referral for treatments to which they object in conscience.
5. Doctors have an obligation to provide care in emergencies, even if the condition results from a procedure to which the doctor has a conscientious objection.
6. Doctors have an obligation to explain the reasons for their conscientious objection with clarity and courtesy to patients and colleagues. Patients have a right to see another doctor and to be given impartial information as to how they can exercise that right. [Full text]