Should Doctors Be Neutral on Suicide?

Most of us have spent time with a loved one at the end of his or her life.  Depending on circumstances, this could have been a peaceful and loving experience or one filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
Some see doctor prescribed suicide as the solution to this uncertainty.  However, doctor prescribed suicide is anything but an easy answer.  Simply put, doctor prescribed suicide normalizes suicide as the solution to suffering, encourages decisions to be made based on cost containment instead of human dignity, and relies on inaccurate predictions of quality of life to determine a person’s worth.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is considering a resolution to change its decades-long opposition to doctor prescribed suicide. There are many risks in legalizing assisted suicide, particularly to socially marginalized groups of people like the disabled and the elderly. At the end of life, supportive care for both the patient and his or her family is what is needed. Physical pain and depression can be alleviated through medicine and therapy. Responsible healthcare demands putting the symptoms and needs of the patient first.


If the AMA weakens its opposition, the move will send a message to the legislature that legalizing suicide is acceptable.


Additional resources from the PCC can be found at


Please read this material and consider sending a message to the AMA via the link below asking them to support the dignity of every person and the need for supportive and comprehensive end of life care.

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