We sent the following email, part of a monthly series, to our Doctors for Dignity:
Doctors for Dignity made significant strides in 2016 thanks to physician leaders like you who engaged with organized medicine to re-evaluate outdated policy positions in opposition to medical aid in dying.
This year, both the Colorado Medical Society and the Maryland State Medical Society conducted member surveys that found majorities in favor of medical aid in dying (56% and 65%, respectively). Both organizations withdrew opposition to “assisted suicide” adopting “studied neutrality” toward legislation to authorize medical aid in dying. The New York Academy of Family Physicians adopted a neutral stance and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine reaffirmed its position of “studied neutrality.”
We’ve also seen success in our outreach to medical professionals in multiple communities. GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality and the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physiciansadopted positions in support of medical aid in dying.
Finally, the American Medical Association House of Delegates voted to reassess its longstanding opposition to “assisted suicide” by instructing its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs to “study medical aid in dying as an end-of-life option” including review of data and experience from colleagues from authorizing states.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of this work: opposition from state medical societies is our biggest obstacle to passing medical aid-in-dying laws. And with the AMA considering changing its stance, we’ll need the resources to organize in medical societies at every level to support medical aid in dying.
Your gift helps us recruit and mobilize physicians to engage in ongoing policy debates and ensures that all patients will have the freedom to choose from a full range of end-of-life options based on their personal values and beliefs.
Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season,
Rebecca Thoman, M.D.
Campaign Manager, Doctors for Dignity
P.S. If you had this message forwarded to you and you are not a member of Doctors for Dignity, please click here to join.