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 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) passed a resolution at a meeting in Philadelphia supporting freedom of conscience for physicians. Resolution 507 (Physician Conscience Protection Rights) was proposed by the Florida chapter as a result of concerns about freedom of conscience generated by federal health care reforms. The Congress of Delegates agreed that hysicians should be able to practise in accordance with their conscientious convictions, “without resulting in loss of licensure or significant financial penalty.” Current policy of the organization is that physicians who are “uncomfortable” providing contraception should refer patients to colleagues willing to provide “the education and/or service.” [MedPage Today]
Richard G. Roberts, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, is reported to have said that physicians do not have a “statutory, constitutional or ethical” duty to perform procedures to which they object, but that the medical profession has an obligation to help patients access necessary legal services. The remarks appear to distinguish between personal and corporate obligations.