AMA Victoria statement on former presidents
Tuesday 19 September 2017
AMA Victoria confirms that Dr Stephen Parnis, Dr Mark Yates and Dr Mukesh Haikerwal are not spokespersons for the AMA.
They are former Presidents of AMA Victoria.
The AMA's position on voluntary assisted dying (euthanasia) has been updated since these doctors were Presidents.
Dr Lorraine Baker is the current President of AMA Victoria.
The AMA's position was developed and supported by the AMA Federal Council in 2016, an extract is detailed below. These points are to be read collectively – 3.1 cannot be read without 3.4.
Doctors Parnis, Yates and Haikerwal are entitled to express their individual opinions. The AMA is the peakbody representing the medical profession.
3.1 The AMA believes that doctors should not be involved in interventions that have as their primary intention the ending of a person’s life. This does not include the discontinuation of treatments that are of no medical benefit to a dying patient.
3.2 The AMA recognises there are divergent views within the medical profession and the broader community in relation to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.
3.3 The AMA acknowledges that laws in relation to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are ultimately a matter for society and government.
3.4 If governments decide that laws should be changed to allow for the practice of euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide, the medical profession must be involved in the development of relevant legislation, regulations and guidelines which protect:
- all doctors acting within the law;
- vulnerable patients – such as those who may be coerced or be susceptible to undue
- influence, or those who may consider themselves to be a burden to their families, carers or society;
- patients and doctors who do not want to participate; and
- the functioning of the health system as a whole.
3.5 Any change to the laws in relation to euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide must never compromise the provision and resourcing of end of life care and palliative care services. 2/2
3.6 Doctors are advised to always act within the law to help their patients achieve a dignified and comfortable death.
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